National Directory



clerics, additional spiritual direction, and counseling. Such formation will include leading the deacon into deeper contemplative prayer, so that he may better embrace the solitude that comes with the loss of his wife. His promise of celibacy that may have remained theoretical has become real. The widowed deacon is now invited into a consecrated love of Christ in celibate chastity. He may become more available to the needs of the Church, which has implications for a deacon’s personal life and ministry. The diocesan bishop should discern with the widowed deacon if he can accept more substantive ministerial and spiritual responsibilities. 265. “The vocation of the permanent deacon is a great gift of God to the Church and for this reason is ‘an important enrichment for the Church’s mission.’” 27 Being called and being sent by the Lord have always been important, but in contemporary historical circumstances they acquire a particular urgency. “The mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion. . . . An overall view of the human race shows that this mission is still only beginning and that we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to its service.” 28 To this end, the ministry of the deacon holds great promise, especially for the urgent missionary and pastoral work of the new evangelization. The post-ordination stage of diaconal formation should give priority to this task. Pope Francis exhorts, “All of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the ‘periph eries’ in need of the light of the Gospel.” 29 IV. Diocesan Organization for Post-Ordination Stage Formation New Evangelization: The Deacon in the Third Christian Millennium

A Diocesan Post-Ordination Program

266. With the approval of the diocesan bishop, a program for the ongoing

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