Becoming a Deacon: by Deacon Joe Ferrari

Deacon Joe Ferrari
Deacon Joe Ferrari

“Hey, Deacon Dr…. I need to talk to you. Do you have a moment?”

The first time I heard this request from a parish member I looked around – who are they talking too? me?! Since August 2013 I heard this request often: before and after Mass, at parish events and through email. And it never gets old.

To think, I am called to serve others; the people of SMM; folks at work; strangers in public ministries. ME - a kid from Brooklyn, critic from New York, guy from DePaul. Then I recall a famous quote from Fr. Richard Rohr, Franciscan author focused on male spirituality, who said: “God does not call the formed ~~ he forms the Called.”

My friend, the Church needs more men of faith who are men of service. We don’t need men who serve only – we have many men especially at SMM) who step up and ask, ‘what must be done?’ We are so blessed for your service at SMM for all you do for others. AND, we don’t need someone who simple wants to be on the altar each Sunday. Don’t get me wrong – it is SO humbling to be there next to Fr. Paul, as he lifts the bread made of human hands that then comes down to us as the body of Christ. And to be the person who lifts the wine, that returns us all as the suffering of Christ. I admit it, there are times I almost cry. We need men who will live their life of faith as Christ the suffering servant, to honor the people in honor of God.

What we need at SMM are more (new) DEACONS.

Over the next several weeks each SMM Deacons will write a personal, short message inviting the men of SMM to discern this calling. Please, come talk privately with Deacons Ken Miles, Terry Taylor, Don Helgeson, Joe Ferrari, and our retired deacon Fred Straub. And talk to Fr. Paul, who joins us in bringing new deacons to SMM. God does not want you formed ~ he will form you to be the servant, the deacon, he needs you to be. But he may be calling you for this vocation. If you have some sense that this is what you are led to be = come talk to us. If others at home/in your family, at work, or in the parish see something in you that you may be missing for the calling of the diaconate – please, come talk to us. Discern, pray, discuss. Thanks.

DIOCESE OF JOLIET, OFFICE OF THE DIACONATE:

We expect Application for the 2024 Class to become available on the Diocese of Joliet, Office of Diaconate website in early Sept. 2019. There is a year of applications, interviews, screening, and among men invited for formation, one completes about 4 years of study. Advertising materials will be sent to the parishes publicizing some information/discernment sessions to be held at three (3) different diocesan locations. These will happen in late spring or early summer, 2019. Meanwhile, come talk to us.

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