Friday, January 20, 2006

First Ordinations to the Permanent Diaconate

Bombay Archdiocese: First Ordinations to the Permanent Diaconate

Here is the official announcement made by Cardinal Ivan Dias regarding the ordination of the first two candidates to the Permanent Diaconate in the Bombay Archdiocese.

I am glad to announce that on January 22, 2006 two candidates to the Permanent Diaconate in our Archdiocese will receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the Cathedral of the Holy Name.

It will be well to recall that those in Sacred Orders belong to three groups: Bishops, Priests and Deacons. Each of them is empowered to act in the person and in the name of Jesus Christ: a Bishop is "a sign of Christ, Shepherd and Spouse, Teacher and High Priest of the Church" (cfr Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, n.7); a Priest represents Christ as the Head of the Church, His Mystical Body; and a Deacon reflects Christ, the Servant of Yahweh, who came "not to be served, but to serve and to give His life for many" (Mt 20:28). In the Church today, deacons are called to preach the Word of God, to baptise, to distribute the Body of Christ, and to exercise pastoral ministries with the mandate of their Bishop.

For some candidates the diaconate is a step towards their sacerdotal ordination; for others (religious brothers or celibate/married laymen) it is a permanent commitment in their respective states of life to the pastoral ministry of the diocese. The former implies transition, while the latter denotes a permanent state. Hence the qualification: permanent diaconate. There are over 30,000 permanent deacons all over the world today, who are rendering laudable service in the fields of catechetics, health, basic communities, biblical apostolate, charismatic renewal, etc.

January 22, 2006 will truly be a red-letter day in the history of the Bombay Archdiocese, for it will mark a big step forward towards providing an ever more efficient pastoral care to the faithful. It is indeed significant that this joyful event is taking place in the Archdiocesan Year of the Eucharist and the Family.

I invite the Clergy, Religious, Laity and Lay Faithful to thank God with me for the gift of the first two Permanent Deacons in the Archdiocese, and to pray that He showers His choicest blessings on them and their families and on the pastoral ministries they will be entrusted with.
+ Ivan Cardinal Dias
Archbishop of Bombay
January 10, 2006
Posted by Richard Mascarenhas

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