“Make holy the time God has given to us.”
With these words, Bishop Edward Malesic greeted those attending the opening Mass at the annual deacon convocation on Oct. 21 at the Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe. The bishop celebrated the liturgy in Sacred Heart Chapel for many of the diocese’s deacons, their wives and members of the Permanent Diaconate Formation Program.
(See photo gallery above.)
During his homily, he cautioned that the devil is trying to divide in direct opposition to Jesus’ prayer “that they may all be one.” (Jn 17:21)
In addition, the bishop noted that ministry is not about egos or numbers. “God plants the seeds,” he said. “Our job is to water.” He told those gathered to “bring people to Jesus and then him do the rest.”
Following Mass, Teresa Yohman and Maria Wancata from the diocesan Marriage and Family Ministry Office presented materials and collected feedback from convocation attendees on the Marriage Catechumenate model called for by Pope Francis. The group examined current offerings in parishes for marriage preparation as well as what is and what can be done for after saying “I do,” including ministries for couples, families, parents, teens and grandparents.
The Marriage Catechumenate examines how the principles modeled in other formation such as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults – also known as RCIA -- could be used to better equip couples, foster engagement in the parish community and journey together in the months and years before and after the marriage ceremony.
The day concluded with each small group noting what their parishes are doing well and asking them to dream about what could be done with some of the initial successes being realized through the diocese.
For more information about Marriage and Family Ministry, click here.