National Directory



The Unmarried Participant

153. What has been described regarding the role of the family in the forma tion of a married man also applies to the family of the unmarried par ticipant (i.e., one who never married, one now widowed, or one civilly divorced 62 ). His family should likewise be invited to share appropri ately in the formation community. His parents and siblings, any chil dren, and extended family need similar grounding in understanding the ministry of the deacon so they can be supportive and encouraging of his vocation. The unmarried participant must likewise demonstrate that he is able to fulfill his responsibilities for the care of any minor children or other dependents. 154. The unmarried participant must grow in clear and realistic under standing of the value of celibate chastity and its connection to diaconal ministry. 63 To be lived fruitfully, the value of celibacy must be inter nalized. To achieve these formation goals, the unmarried participant should be incorporated into a mentoring group composed of priests and celibate deacons from whom he can receive support and encour agement, a group where a dialogue on the challenges and a faith-filled response to a celibate lifestyle can be fostered. 155. Deacons are called to serve a multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural Church.This changing face of the Catholic Church in the United States of America has a significant effect on diaconal formation. The cultures and traditions of those in diaconal formation—mirroring as they do the rich diversity of gifts and unity in faith—need to be respected, valued, and understood. Formation must be sensitive and responsive to the cir cumstances of different cultures, 64 especially in their unique patterns of learning and of expressing their understanding.There should be formal instruction regarding the developmental role and function of culture Multicultural Diversity

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