October 7, 2016
The Diocese of Nashville will conduct informational sessions during October and November for men interested in learning more about the permanent diaconate.
Permanent deacons serve the Church in a variety of ways, by teaching religious education classes, preaching homilies, witnessing weddings, leading parish service projects, and more.
“The three charisms of the diaconate are word, liturgy, and charity,” according to Deacon Ron Deal, director of the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Nashville, who serves at Holy Family Parish in Brentwood. “By our baptism, we are all called to service; the diaconate is sacramentalized service,” Deacon Deal said.
Those interested in joining the permanent diaconate are invited to attend one of five upcoming informational sessions, held at various parishes throughout the diocese.
The next deacon formation classes will begin in September 2017, with ordination anticipated for June 2021.
This next class will likely be smaller than the last one, which saw 29 men ordained to the permanent diaconate in 2014. This time around, Deacon Deal said, “we’re looking at getting more deacons out in the rural parishes.”
The permanent diaconate, he said, “has historically been very Nashville-centric,” but more deacons are needed to serve in smaller, outlying parishes.
The permanent deacon application process will begin in December and continue through early 2017, followed by interviews, background checks and a final selection of candidates by Bishop David Choby next spring.
The plan is for the deacon formation classes to be held at the Catholic Pastoral Center one full weekend a month, nine months out of the year.
“We are asking for a commitment,” Deacon Deal said. “It’s very important to be in attendance every weekend,” not only to fully understand each lesson, but also to “build community and camaraderie,” he said.
All men interested in learning more about serving as a permanent deacon are invited to attend one of five deacon formation class information session. The sessions will be held:
• Tuesday, Oct. 25, St. Frances Cabrini Church in Lebanon
• Wednesday, Oct. 26, Immaculate Conception Church in Clarksville
• Wednesday, Nov. 2, the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville
• Thursday, Nov. 10, St. Catherine of Siena Church in Columbia
• Monday, Nov. 14, St. Paul the Apostle Church in Tullahoma
Each session begins at 7 p.m. and will last about an hour. It is only necessary to attend one session. For more information, contact Deacon Ron Deal at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-783-0759.