National Directory



The deacon matures in its exercise and by focusing his own call to holiness on the fulfillment of his social and ecclesial duties, in partic ular, of his ministerial functions and responsibilities. The formation of deacons should, therefore, concentrate in a special way on awareness of their ministerial character. 4 252. The post-ordination stage of formation is motivated by the same dynamism as the holy order received. As St. Paul wrote to Timothy: “Do not neglect the gift you have, which was conferred on you through the prophetic word with the imposition of hands. . . . Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to everyone. Attend to your self and to your teaching; persevere in both tasks, for by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you” (1 Tm 4:14-16). II. The Dimensions of Formation in the Post-Ordination Stage 253. The post-ordination stage provides the deacon with ample opportuni ties to continue to develop and integrate the dimensions of formation into his life and ministry. 5 This ensures the quality of his life and min istry, avoiding the risk of ministerial burnout. In certain cases of diffi culty, such as discouragement or a change in ministry, post-ordination formation can entail a process of renewal and revitalization. 254. In designing the content for an ongoing formation program, those respon sible “should take into consideration two distinct but closely related levels of formation: the diocesan level, in reference to the diocesan bishop. . . . and the community level in which the deacon exercises his own ministry, in reference to the parish priest.” 6 The deacon is ordained for service to the diocesan Church, even though the focus of that service will usually be within a particular parochial community. Keeping a balance in this dual relationship is essential to his effectiveness as a deacon.

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