ORLANDO | This November the Office of Permanent Deacons will host six discernment nights for men discerning a possible calling to the diaconate. How might a man recognize a potential calling? Beyond his internal yearning; a true calling will be evidenced by the life already being lived. He will have an intimate relationship with God and devoted prayer life; living an active life of Word, Sacrament, and charity within the parish and community; know Church teaching and live it in humble obedience.
If married, he will have the full support of his family. Men as young as 35 may be ordained a permanent deacon, and their ability to live their diaconate in the context of a vibrant family life can be a powerful sign to the community. He must be free of canonical impediments, able to commit to six years of formation, and willing to make this commitment of service permanent and public as a sacramental sign to the world. The discernment process is never a private one. It is accomplished with the community of faith under the direction of the bishop.
All Catholic Christians by the nature of Baptism have a vocation. The journey to understand our personal vocation begins with a yearning to live according to God’s plan. We turn to Pope Francis, “The Christian life needs to be nourished by attentive listening to God’s word and, above all, by the cultivation of a personal relationship with the Lord in Eucharistic Adoration, the privileged ‘place’ for our encounter with God.” In contemplative prayer we quietly allow room to hear God’s voice, as a vital step in surrendering our will to God’s.
May each inquirer approach their calling with the words of Mary’s obedience, “May it be done to me according to your word.”
For more information on diaconate nights and discernment visit the Diocesan webpage: www.orlandodiocese.org/ministries-offices/deacons-welcome/diaconate-discernment/
Special to Deacon Dave Camous of the Florida Catholic October 23, 2019