Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv DD STL, Bishop of Parramatta
Address to the National Association of Deacons Conference 2019, Fremantle
“The renewed ministry of diakonia in the Church beyond the shadows of the priesthood“
4 October 2019
PART 1: INTRODUCTION
I’d like to thank you all for giving this opportunity to reflect with you on the role of deacons and its future in the Church in Australia.
Even though I am an expert neither in the history nor the theology of the diaconate, I believe that the time has come for a deeper appreciation and application of this ministry within the larger context of a diaconal Church.
I am proud to say that our diocese is now home to one of the most diverse and dynamic groups of permanent deacons in Australia. They are drawn from vastly different backgrounds and greatly enrich the life of the local Church.
I am convinced that this is the sign of the times when Christian ministries are increasingly reimagined and revitalised by way of relational maturity, mutuality, collaboration and service rather than privilege, elitism and individualism that have often been the baggage of the clericalist priesthood.
We celibate clergy have a lot to learn from you and your spouses as you seek to embody the ideal of Christian service in your public ministry and marriage covenants.
Part 2 will be published tomorrow.