Sunday, June 16, 2013

Diaconal service

Yesterday two deacons were ordained for the diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán. The diocese decided to use the event to gather the youth of the diocese. 

Hundreds of young people from throughout the diocese gathered at the Catholic University and walked in procession to the stadium -  about two kilometers away.

The two young men – Edwin born and raised in San Martín, El Salvador and Cesar is from the diocese – have studied in the Honduran seminary in Tegucigalpa and then spent a pastoral experience here in the diocese. I met Cesar when he led a music retreat in Dulce Nombre last year.

They will serve several months in parishes in the diocese and be ordained priests sometime in the near future.

Santa Rosa Bishop, Darwin Andino, ordained them but San Pedro Sula auxiliary bishop, Romulo Emiliani, was there – as were a good number of the priests of the diocese.

I found the event a little disappointing and the two young men only had a few minutes to speak at the end of Mass. It also seemed a bit disorganized, as a priest friend also noted.

The first deacons were meant to serve the Greek-speaking widows of the early Chirstian community, as we heard in the second reading from Acts 6.

Bishop Andino did mention that deacon means “servant” and that the diaconate is meant to be a sign of service for the community.

I do hope and pray that Edwin and Cesar are real servants of the People of God.

But I found a real example of diaconal service after the event was over.

I decided to take a taxi home, since my feet were hurting. The taxi driver had one customer. When we got to his stop the driver got the man’s wheelchair from the trunk and held it as the man moved from the front seat to the wheelchair.

He got a call and asked if he could make a detour to pick up two customers. No problem, I said, since you have to make a living.

It was an older woman and a younger woman taking care of her.

As we passed from there to my place I watched as he leaned over to talk to the woman – who seemed to suffer a mild case of dementia. His gentleness was inspiring.

Getting home I thought of his manner of working – which seemed really diaconal, a way to serve others by his daily labor.

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