Next month 29 candidates will be ordained to the permanent diaconate to serve in our parishes in the Diocese of Dallas. These new deacons are members of a Spanish-speaking class that has undergone more than five years of rigorous formation in preparation for their reception of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
All will be ordained at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe; 15 on June 4 and 14 on June 11. They will join the 102 permanent deacons presently serving in our diocese in parishes, institutions and the pastoral center. Another class of 28 candidates is in formation and will be ordained in 2013. The 2013 candidates are primarily English speaking.
Permanent Deacons have become such an important part of our ministry today, we sometimes forget that prior to Pope Paul VI’s restoration of the ancient order in 1967, the diaconate was seen only as a step to the priesthood. The first permanent deacon class was ordained for the Diocese of Dallas in 1973. The first Spanish-speaking class was ordained in 1977. Since that time our program has formed hundreds of men for the permanent diaconate for our diocese and the dioceses of Fort Worth, Tyler, Beaumont, San Antonio and Little Rock.
Today there are more than 17,000 permanent deacons serving the dioceses of the United States and of those more than ten percent are serving in Texas dioceses.
Please pray for our diaconal ordinands and candidates and for those deacons who are ministering in our diocese.