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Feast of St. Stephen

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Deacons and their wives, if married, commit to a lifetime of service in the church and in the community such as hospitals and prisons. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

Deacons and their wives, if married, commit to a lifetime of service in the church and in the community such as hospitals and prisons. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

On this feast of St. Stephen, a martyr and deacon of the church, I thought I’d pass along a few thoughts from Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares that he shared with the 16 deacon candidates on the eve of their ordination Nov. 9. They’re good tips for any Catholic striving for holiness.

My dear deacons to be, remember that your first and most important of all vocations is to be holy, to be full of God and you do that through your prayer. Pray for those you server. Pray for people of the world. Never forget your first and most important of vocations: prayer.We need to trust. We need to believe. We need to have faith that all that we do can only be fruitful if we do it for God and with His blessing.

He listed the wife of each deacon who was married as their second most important vocation. He called it a full-time job. Behind that was the deacon’s job to be able to provide for his spouse and family. Fourth on the list was his vocation to the deaconate.

Once you have your family taken care of, once you have your marriage established, then reach out to your brothers and sisters in need through the deaconal service.

Today more than ever we need to cherish this sacrament of marriage for it is the reflection of the relationship that exists between Christ and His bride, the Church. You who are married… the trinitarian love, the love that was in the blessed trinity, is lived within the married couple.

So to deacons everywhere, especially the newest 16 serving the Phoenix Diocese, happy feast day. And as a small gift, at long last, I have updated the photo album on Facebook highlighting the ordination day.

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