Br Martin is a monk of Glenstal Abbey and is also a permanent deacon who works as the headmaster to the Glenstal Abbey School. He joins John and Shane on this mornings programme to discuss what exactly the diaconate is and its role in the ministry of the church.
The diaconate is seen as the public manifestation of the servant nature of the church. Deacons are ordained ministers of the church who also serve in a liturgical function.
"The restoration of the ministry of permanent deacons is somehow looked on in terms of what the deacon can or cannot do compared with the priest and ministry of the deacon is looked on as some sort of second-class ministry. People who speak or write in this framework fail to understand the deaconate and fail to understand ministry. The order of deacons is not just about doing things; it is a call to be configured in a special way to Jesus who serves and to represent in a special way in the life of the Church Jesus who serves." - Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
The Second Vatican Council envisaged a renewal of ministry, both lay and ordained, in the Church. The Council’s Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, explains that the lay faithful, by virtue of their Baptism, are commissioned to an active apostolate and insists that “every opportunity be given them so that, according to their abilities and the needs of the times, they may zealously participate in the saving work of the Church. The Second Vatican Council also proposed the restoration of the diaconate as a “distinct ministry of service” to be exercised “in communion with the bishop and his group of priests”.
Deacons are ordained to service, to charity and to proclaim the Word.