Do you believe that God might be calling you to discern the Ordained Ministry of Christ the Servant, as a Permanent Deacon in the Diocese of Allentown? If so, you and your family are invited to a “Come and See” event Friday, June 25 at 6 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1879 Applewood Drive, Orefield.
The evening will include a reflection on the Ministry of the Order of Deacon, relevant application information and an overview of the formation process.
Since the Permanent Diaconate was restored to the Church in 1968 by Pope Paul VI, there have been six ordination classes in the Diocese of Allentown. There are now 134 Incardinated Deacons in the Diocese, 107 of whom are active in ministry. Each of those classes was concluded before another class was formed, said Father Eugene Ritz, Director of the Office of Permanent Diaconate Formation.
Most recently, he said, in spring 2018, the Diocese again began accepting applications for the Permanent Diaconate, and 19 men are currently in formation. As Candidates for Holy Orders, they are scheduled to be installed as Lectors in November 2021, as Acolytes in 2022, and with, God willing, Ordination in 2024.
With the leadership of Bishop Alfred Schlert, for the first time in diocesan history, two classes will be formed concurrently. Applications for the “2027 Cohort” (class) will be accepted beginning July 16, 2021.
Permanent Deacons may baptize, witness marriages, conduct funeral services, and preside at prayer services and devotions. They may also preach at Mass, give instructions to people wishing to become Catholic, be involved in religious education, and conduct marriage and family enrichment programs. Deacons also serve in special ministries, such as soup kitchens, nursing homes and prisons.
Registration is required for the “Come and See” event. Please register by emailing Mrs. Judith Stewart-Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Office of Permanent Diaconate Formation at 610-332-0442 ext. 2031. Attendance by Zoom is optional, and the session will be recorded and made available to those who cannot attend.
(The photo above shows the current class of candidates for the Permanent Diaconate, now in formation. With the new class, it will be the first time in diocesan history that two classes are in formation at the same time.)