The Permanent Diaconate
Bishop Walter W. Curtis ordained the first class of permanent deacons for the Diocese of Bridgeport on February 25, 1978. Since then, over 120 men have been ordained for the diocese. While each of these men expresses his life of service in various ways, all deacons share a common purpose in their ministry. The deacon’s ministry is:
. . . to bring God’s Word to believer and unbeliever alike, to preside over public prayer, to baptize, to assist at marriages and officiate at them, to give viaticum to the dying, and to lead the rites of burial. Once he is consecrated by the laying on of hands… he will perform works of charity in the name of the Bishop. . . . Furthermore [he will] faithfully pray the Liturgy of the Hours daily for the Church and for the whole world.
Most permanent deacons have family responsibilities and earn their living in the secular world. It is important that the deacon seek order and balance in his life: being an ordained presence of Christ the Servant in the world, while ably performing his duties as spouse, father, son, neighbor, employer or employee. Such a balance can only be achieved with excellent communication between the deacon and his wife, the bishop, his pastor, and other collaborators in ministry.