Bishop seeks candidates for permanent diaconate

JACKSON – Bishop Joseph Kopacz has asked pastors for candidates for a new class of permanent deacons for the Diocese of Jackson.
A permanent deacon fulfils a ministry of service, proclaimng the word, visiting the sick, serving the poor and doing the work assigned him by the local bishop. Deacons are ordained, but do not act in the same capacity as priests. They can perform weddings, baptisms and funerals, but cannot offer Masses.
A permanent deacon can be married or single, but cannot enter into marriage once ordained. A married deacon will promise not to re-marry if he is widowed.
Preparation for the diaconate takes five years and includes both academic study and spiritual formation. If a candidate is married, his wife should be a supportive part of his ministry. Last year, six men were ordained deacons. Most serve at their home parishes. One, Deacon Denzil Lobo, serves as the ecclesial minister for Jackson Christ the King Parish.
Men interested in the ministry should speak to their pastors. A pastor must recommend someone for candidacy. The applications are lengthy and are due to the chancery by August 31.

JACKSON – At left, Deacon Denzil Lobo, left, and Father Jeremy Tobin accept the Book of the Gospels from a member of the Ladies of Peter Claver at the Mass to install Deacon Lobo as the eccelsial minister and Father Tobin as the sacramental minister for Christ the King Parish Sunday, June 11. Deacons are ordained clergy who fulfil a ministry of service for a diocese. The tradition of deacons goes back to the earliest days of Christianity when the community appointed a group to care for the poor of a community. (Photo by Sallie Ann Inman)

BATESVILLE –St. Mary Parish welcomed new pastor, Father Pradeep Kumar Thirumalareddy, with a parish brunch after he celebrated his first Mass in the parish on June 11. Father Pradeep came from his home in India to serve in the Diocese of Jackson. The parish also celebrated his June 14 birthday. (Photo by Robin Ridge)