At the Balham Circle February meeting brothers were given a talk about the Permanent Diaconate by Reverend Brother Phil Pond of Croydon Circle.
He told us that it was an ancient ministry of the Church that had been revived by the Second Vatican Council. Deacons report to their bishop rather than working under a parish priest, although they are normally posted to parishes. They can officiate at funerals and assist at Mass. When present it is their job to read the gospel. They cannot consecrate the host or give absolution for sins. There are no plans to open the ministry to women.
Bro Phil told us about his own vocation and how he had discussed it with his family before putting himself forward. There were a number of courses that he had to undertake and tests to make sure that he was suitable. The talk was most interesting and, who knows, it may have made one of our own brothers think about whether he had a vocation. CM