Sunday, May 17, 2015

A deacon candidate

Yesterday, May 16, I was accepted as a candidate for the permanent diaconate in the diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras. 

The rite took place in the parish church of Dulce Nombre, at the Mass where Padre German Navarro was installed as pastor.

The rite is very simple, but as I stood before the bishop, I had a sense that this is serious stuff.

There are two questions, both of which might seem a bit innocuous:

My son, the pastors and teachers in charge of your formation, and all those who know you, have given good testimony [a favorable account] of you, and we have fill confidence in their thinking.

Are you willing to respond to the call of the Lord, carrying to completion your preparation in such a way that you become fit to receive, when the day comes, sacred ordination and to exercise that ministry in the church?

I am willing

Are you willing to go forward preparing yourself in spirit in such a way that you can serve faithfully Christ, the Lord and his Body, the Church?

I am willing.

The bishop responds:
The church receives your decision with joy. May God, who initiated this good work in you, bring it to completion.

This is serious stuff. It’s not merely study; it’s formation – conversion.

It’s not a question of having an official function in the church.

It’s about taking on the calling of Christ as servant and letting oneself be open to the God who wishes to form us and the church in the image of his Son, Jesus, the servant, the diakonos, the deacon.

To begin to respond to this call, I am off this morning with the Eucharist for a Celebration of the Word with Communion to the village of El Zapote Dulce Nombre.


The Spanish ritual for the admission of a candidate for the diaconate reads:

Querido hijo, los pastores y maestros a quienes se encomendó la tarea de tu formación y todos aquellos que te conocen han dado de ti buen testimonio; yo, por mi parte, confío plenamente en este su parecer.

¿Estás dispuesto, pues, a responder a la llamada del Señor, llevando a término tu preparación de tal forma que llegues a ser apto a recibir, cuando llegue el día, la ordenación sagrada y ejercer así el ministerio en la Iglesia?

Sí, estoy dispuesto.

¿Estas dispuesto a ir formando tu espíritu de tal forma que puedes servir fielmente a Cristo, el Señor, y a su cuerpo, que es la Iglesia?

Sí, estoy dispuesto.

La iglesia recibe con gozo esta tu decisión; y Dios, que comenzó en ti esta obra buena, él mismo la lleve a término.

The English reads a bit differently:

My son, the pastors and teachers in charge of your formation, and others who know you, have given a favorable account of you, and we have full confidence in their testimony.

In response to the Lord’s call are you resolved to com­plete your preparation so that in due time you will be ready to be ordained for the ministry of the Church?

I am.

Are you resolved to prepare yourselves in mind and spirit to give faithful service to Christ the Lord and his body, the Church?

I am.

The Church receives your declaration with joy. May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment.

More photos can be found on my photo site here.


Liam O'Doherty, OSA said...

Yes, with much joy ALL of us accept your decision and rejoice at your yes.

Charles said...

Good on you, John.

You've thought this over very seriously and I feel certain that it will be transforming of you, and that you will transform many others.