National Directory



of the greatest use and relevance to study, appropriate and diffuse the social doctrine of the Church. A good knowledge of that teach ing will permit many deacons to mediate it in their different pro fessions, at work and in their families. [It may also be useful to] the diocesan bishop [to] invite those who are capable to specialize in a theological discipline and obtain the necessary academic qualifica tions at those pontifical academies or institutes recognized by the Apostolic See which guarantee doctrinally correct information. 21

Pastoral Dimension: “Pastoral Methodology for an Effective Ministry” 22

261. Pastoral formation constantly encourages the deacon “to perfect the effectiveness of his ministry of making the love and service of Christ present in the Church and in society without distinction, especially to the poor and to those most in need. Indeed, it is from the pastoral love of Christ that the ministry of deacons draws its model and inspi ration.” 23 When the diaconate is conceived from the start as an integral part of an overall pastoral plan, deacons will have a richer and firmer sense of their own identity and purpose. Thus, an ongoing pastoral formation program responds to the concerns and issues pertinent to the deacon’s life and ministry, in keeping with the pastoral plan of the diocesan Church and in loyal and firm communion with the Supreme Pontiff and with his own diocesan bishop. III. Additional Considerations

Specialization Programming

262. “The ministry of the word leads to ministry at the altar, which in turn prompts the transformation of life by the liturgy, resulting in charity.” 24 As a deacon eventually focuses on more specific ministries through his responsiveness to the growing needs of the people he serves, it will be

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