For the past few years, more than 20 men and their wives have been coming to the Little Sisters of the Poor Sacred Heart Residence in Mobile for classes and formation in a quest to become deacons in the Archdiocese of Mobile. I am one of those men and I am forever grateful to the Sisters, Staff and Residents who allow us to wander their halls one weekend a month!
We have been learning a lot about Church history, the sacraments, theology, spirituality, homiletics and the Bible, but what has touched me the most is our practical application training in the Little Sisters’ home. This comes as we learn how to assist liturgically, like when we altar serve at Mass, help the deacon at Benediction or lead the daily prayers from the breviary. A more personal piece of our practical training comes as we visit with the Residents. I always leave them with a touch of awe in my heart. I have learned so much about living from these folks!
We also learn as we observe the Sisters and staff. They are truly dedicated professionals who have placed their lives in God’s hands as they serve others. This is exactly what deacons are called to do. A deacon’s vocation is to be of service. This might be in a parish or in a specific area of work for the archdiocese. Regardless of where the deacon is, he is there to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world.
If, God willing, I am ordained in June of 2013, I pray that I can put what I have learned from the Sisters, staff and Residents into practice. May God continue to bless us candidates and our families as we complete our formation and also all who live and work at the Sacred Heart Residence!