National Directory



in the life of the individual and community. Recognizing the cultural diversity of the Catholic Church in the United States of America and incorporating experiences and an appreciation of it all enhance the present and future ministerial effectiveness of each participant. 156. Formation objectives and methods should accommodate an appropriate inculturation of each participant to foster his effective service within a multicultural community. Given the ethnic and racial diversity of our national population and the mobility that is so characteristic of our society, a participant in diaconal formation ought to have meaningful cross-cultural experiences and specific training for ministry in his own cultural context.This would include reasonable levels of language study in areas where large numbers of Catholics are not proficient in English. As an ordained servant-leader in a Church called to welcome and embrace all people, the deacon should be a living example of that spirit, one who is particularly conscious of the potential for misunderstanding and alienation that can occur when cultural, ethnic, or racial diversity becomes an occasion of discrimination rather than of social harmony. 65 157. The ministry of charity is “most characteristic of the deacon.” 66 “In fact, with sacred ordination, [the deacon] is constituted a living icon of Christ the servant within the Church.” 67 From its beginnings, the min istry of the deacon encompassed stewardship of the Church’s material goods, making evident the claim of the poor on the resources of the community. Deacons have long helped to ensure that the allocation of those resources made provision for meaningful assistance to those who suffered from poverty, hunger, homelessness, and disease. Today, the restored diaconate maintains this traditional stewardship through its commitment to the poor. Social Justice

158. Diaconal formation should equip deacons for working on behalf of

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