National Directory



family life not only of the Church community but of the whole of soci ety.They also show how the obligations of family life, work, and minis try can be harmonized in the service of the Church’s mission. Deacons and their wives and children can be a great encouragement to others who are working to promote family life.” 67 74. A married deacon, with his wife and family, gives witness to the sanc tity of marriage.The more they grow in mutual love, conforming their lives to the Church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality, the more they give to the Christian community a model of Christlike love, compas sion, and self-sacrifice. The married deacon must always remember that through his sacramental participation in both vocational sacra ments, first in Matrimony and again in Holy Orders, he is challenged to be faithful to both. With integrity he must live out both sacraments in harmony and balance. The wife of a deacon should be included with her husband, when appropriate, in diocesan clergy and parochial staff gatherings. A deacon and his wife, both as a spiritual man and woman and as a couple, have much to share with the diocesan bishop and his priests about the Sacrament of Matrimony. A diaconal fam ily also brings a unique presence and understanding of the domes tic family. “By facing in a spirit of faith the challenges of married life and the demands of daily living, [the married deacon and his family] strengthen the family life not only of the Church community but of the whole of society.” 68 75. The Church acknowledges the gift of celibacy that God grants to cer tain of its members who wholeheartedly live it “ according to its true nature and according to its real purposes, that is for evangelical, spiritual and pastoral motives.” 69 The essential meaning of celibacy is grounded in Jesus’ preaching of the Kingdom of God. Its deepest source is love of Christ and dedication to his mission. “In celibate life, indeed, love becomes a sign of total and undivided consecration to Christ and of The Celibate Deacon

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