Dear St. John Neumann Families and Friends,
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We have been blessed for many years here at St. John Neumann with several permanent deacons who have assisted across many ministries in the parish, school and beyond. Just last week we added three new deacons to our pastoral team… two of whom you know and one newcomer whom we welcome from our neighboring parish, All Saints.
Deacon Greg Larson and his wife, Linda, and Deacon Shawn Ballard and his wife, Ann, have been members of St. John Neumann for several years and are probably known to many of you. Deacon Agustin and his wife, Veronica, come to us from All Saints just down the road. When Pope Paul VI reinstituted the office of the diaconate as a permanent order in the Church he allowed married men again to be ordained, but required an older minimum age for their ordination in order to ensure that they could balance the demands of family life with their ministry. This ordination later in life also means that the candidate has already begun serving in the Church’s various missions. Thus when a man is ordained as a deacon he often continues to do many of things before, but now there is a special sacramental grace being ministered to those who receive his pastoral care. What was done before was in no way lacking, but what is now done communicates a particular sacramental grace as well. Prior to Paul VI’s reforms, the diaconate had for centuries had been largely reserved to those on the path to priesthood – and, as the Bishop pointed out in his homily at the ordination Mass, such is still the case, i.e. all priests and bishops are deacons as well.
In the weeks ahead, as you see our new deacons, as well as all of our deacons, please thank them for sharing the God’s good news and grace with us in so many different ways.
God bless you all!