By Barb Arland-Fye
This week’s Catholic Messenger includes a list of 14 deacon candidates who anticipate ordination to the diaconate for the Diocese of Davenport on July 13. Two of the candidates are seminarians discerning a vocation to the priesthood. The other 12 are married husbands and fathers discerning a vocation to the permanent diaconate.
I pray for all 14, and have been journeying these last four years with the 12 candidates for the permanent diaconate. They have been in formation longer than four years, but I joined them in a program of theological studies which is a collaborative effort of the Davenport Diocese and St. Ambrose University in Davenport.
I hoped to offer Catholic Messenger readers a close-up look at the deacon formation process, but as with any journey, I’ve discovered much about myself along the way.
Through our participation in studies together — one full weekend a month 10 times a year — I’ve had the privilege of getting to know the deacon candidates, their wives and other classmates as if they were a second family. They tease me like my brothers used to do! My classmates and I pray, study and eat together. Laughter is a prerequisite, thank goodness! I haven’t missed a milestone in their journey toward ordination.
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