- Written by Deacon Larry Jesmer
The Deacon gives his life to the service of others through a life filled with the word of God, liturgy, and charity. By virtue of his sacramental ordination by the bishop, the deacon acts in the name of the whole Church and of Christ, and raises the meaning of service to an outward sign of God’s grace. This grace offered to all of us nourishes all Christians for a life of service to others. The deacon is this sacramental signification as servant in every aspect of life, even outside of the liturgy.
As Pope John Paul II said in his address, “The Heart of the Permanent Diaconate,” given in Detroit, September 19, 1987, “Yours is not just one ministry among others, but it is truly meant to be… a “driving force” for the church’s diakonia. By your ordination you are prefigured to Christ in his servant role. You are also meant to be living signs of the servanthood of his church”.
In this Archdiocese, the deacon formation program, which is found at www.seattlearch.org, takes three years. These three years entail classes that are essential for the life of a deacon. Preceding the first year is a six month orientation period. The next three years have as there themes as noted below.
Theme: Church as
Theme: Church as
The classes, which are too numerous to list here, offer the candidate spiritual, pastoral, and intellectual formation. The qualifications and other information on the deacon formation program can be found on the web site listed previously.
- Written by Deacon Bob Huber
In 2007, Archbishop Brunett, with the support of a ministry agreement with Fr. Rick Spicer our pastor and myself, granted me privileges to serve as a permanent deacon at St. Hubert's. I have been honored to do so. Even though there has been a history of permanent deacons at St. Hubert's Parish, there were no deacons in active ministry at our parish from 2003-2007. Many parishioners may therefore be wondering: who is that guy taking up so much space on the altar on Sundays? Why do I sometimes see him as a cantor, other times at the altar, other times giving talks in various parish settings?
Permanent deacons serve as one of the three kinds of ordained clergy of the Catholic Church. Like priests and bishops, the apostles created them in the years immediately after Jesus ascended into heaven. In Scripture, you can find a description of the creation of the first seven deacons, in the beginning of Chapter Six of the Acts of the Apostles.
The word deacon comes from the Greek diakonia, which means service. Bishops, priests, and deacons are, of course, all ordained to service, but the mix of responsibilities are somewhat different to meet different needs. Deacons generally speaking have three ministries:
1) Minister of the altar, participating in the administration of some sacraments, notably Eucharist at Mass (where the deacon is the minister of the cup), and administration of Baptisms. Deacons also witness the sacrament of Matrimony, and can preside at funerals when there is no Mass (the Vigil Rite and the Rite of Committal). They can bless sacramentals and preside over Stations of the Cross and Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
2) minister of the Word, including preaching under the direction of the Pastor and with permission from the Archbishop, and working in teaching settings like the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and adult or children's religious education;
3) Minister of service, helping to meet the needs of the community in various social service ministries like feeding the poor and hungry, tending to the physical and spiritual needs of the sick, working with young people, providing comfort and support to the bereaved and those less fortunate in a number of ways. This also involves participation in St. Hubert's service ministries like the Women of St. Hubert's, the Knights of Columbus, and the Parish Outreach ministry.
Unlike bishops and priests, deacons can be married, but should their spouses die, they are also required to remain celibate and not remarry. Deacons do not consecrate the bread and wine into the Precious Body and Blood of Christ. They do not administer the sacraments of Penance, Confirmation, Holy Orders, or Anointing of the Sick. Deacons undergo a rigorous training program of theological study and practical ministries over many years (four years in the Archdiocese of Seattle).
I came to St. Hubert's in August of 2006. After all, where else would a deacon name Huber want to serve? I live in Clinton, with my wife Lois. Wives, as you can imagine play a rather important role, both formally and informally, in the ministry of deacon. Lois and I have two sons, Jeremy and Joshua, who are ages 25 and 21 respectively. Jeremy lives in the Detroit area, where he is an Assistant Manager at a Wal-Mart store. Our son Joshua is a meteorologist for the Raytheon Corporation. He is married to Jean (Perry) Huber. They have twin daughters.
In my secular professional life, I am President of the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER), one of the leading national research organizations supporting advanced research for graduate students and scholars interested in work on the countries of the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe. I am also an Affiliate Professor at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.
In addition to myself, my good friend and long-time parishioner Larry Jesmer has been ordained in 2009 as a permanent deacon by Archbishop Brunett. I ask that all of you continue to pray for Larry and his wife Janine as he begins his diaconate. I have been quite pleased to be able to help him on this spiritual journey. I pray that he will serve with Fr. Rick and I, for I am confident he will be an excellent deacon.
I am delighted to be able to serve you at St. Hubert's. I ask all of you to pray that the Holy Spirit grant me the gifts needed to be the very best minister of sacrament, word, and service I can be to you and our community.
Deacon Bob Huber