Defending the Temples of God

(www.Deaconden.org)  YOUR EXCELLENCY, BISHOP RODRIQUEZ, MY BROTHER PRIESTS AND DEACONS, DEAR WIVES AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF DEACONS, MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST

AS WE ENTER INTO THE 50TH YEAR OF THE RESTORATION OF THE DEACON AS A PERMANENT ORDER, I CAN’T HELP BUT WONDER ABOUT THE SOULS THAT HAVE BEEN TOUCHED BY THE MINISTRY AND WORK OF THE PRIESTS, DEACONS, WIVES OF DEACONS; AND INDEED, ALL THE PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM.  I WONDER, IN HUMILITY NOT PRIDE, ABOUT HOW GOD HAS USED EACH OF US TO ENRICH GOOD SOIL–THAT HIS PEOPLE MAY DRAW CLOSER IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR CREATOR.

INDEED, I AM IN AWE OF THE WORK THAT IS CONSISTENTLY ACCOMPLISHED BY MY BROTHER DEACONS IN THE NURSING HOMES AND RETIRMENT FACILITIES; HOW WE PREACH JESUS TO THE FAITHFUL AND BRING THE NEEDS OF THE FAITHFUL TO THE ALTAR OF GOD EACH TIME WE ASSISTS AT MASS BECAUSE WE KNOW THEIR NEEDS AND PRAY FOR THEM OFTEN; HOW WE ARE BLESSED WITH THE ABILITY TO INSTRUCT THE FAITHFUL AND THOSE ENTERING INTO THE CHURCH THROUGH THE SACRAMENTS AND CHURCH TEACHINGS.  WE, MY DEAR FRIENDS AND BROTHERS, SHOULD PRAISE GOD FOR USING OUR TALENTS FOR HIS KINGDOM.

AFTER 50 YEARS, WE ARE ALSO LEARNING ABOUT THE ROOTS OF OUR MINISTRY. INDEED, WE ARE DISCOVERING MORE ABOUT THE EARLY CHURCH DEACONS, ST LAWRENCE, ST FRANCIS, ST VINCENT OF SARAGOSA AND HOW THEY CALLED ON THE HOLY SPIRIT TO HELP THEM WITH THEIR MINISTRIES.

THROUGH THESE EARLY CHURCH DEACONS, WE ARE DISCOVERING HOW CLOSELY WE ARE ASSOCIATED WITH OUR LEVITICAL BROTHERS OF THE OLD TESTMENT. HOW THE SEVEN MEN ORDAINED IN THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES UNDERSTOOD THE ROLE OF THE LEVITES AND THEIR MISSION, AS THESE LEVITICAL DEACONS CAREFULLY MOVED THE ARC OF THE COVENANT ON THEIR SOUJOURN WHILE DEFENDING AND PROTECTING THE MEETING TENT AND, LATER, THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM.

WE READ IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, THE LEVITES WERE INSTRUCTED TO PURIFY THEMSELVES BEFORE THEY TOUCHED ANYTHING HOLY. REMINDING US, AS DEACONS AND CLERGY, TO GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO REMAIN UNSTAINED. TO GO TO CONFESSION FREQUENTLY AND TO BE PREPARED TO ENTER INTO THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS WITH PRAYER FOR OURSELVES, AND FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE PEWS.

OUR EARLY CHURCH BROTHERS UNDERSTOOD THAT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO THEIR BISHOP AND TO THE CHURCH REQUIRED THEM TO BE RADICALLY AVAILABLE TO JESUS CHRIST. THIS DEMANDED THAT THE DEACONS DEFEND THE BISHOP, THE CHURCH’S TEACHING AS WELL AS HER SACRAMENTS.

BUT THEY ALSO UNDERSTOOD THAT THEIR VOCATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO THE TEMPLE INCLUDED THE SOULS OF THE FAITHFUL. ONCE CLEANSED THE LEVITES WENT TO GREAT LENGTHS TO INSURE THE TEMPLE WAS ALSO PURE.  THEY NEVER ALLOWING ANYTHING UNCLEAN TO ENTER THE SACRED.

FROM THIS, WE, AS SERVANTS OF JESUS CHRIST, HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO HELP THOSE THAT ARE STRUGGLING WITH SIN AND TEMPTATION, WITH GRIEF AND WITH DOUBT. WE ALSO HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO MAKE SURE THE SERVICES AND MINISTRIES OF THE CHURCH ARE DIRECTED TO THOSE IN NEED.  AS DEACONS, WE HAVE DONE THIS WELL, PARTICULARLY IN THE NURSING HOMES, PRISONS AND PARISHES.

IN THE PAST YEAR, WE HAVE ALSO EXPANDED OUR EFFORTS TO HELP THE INCREASING NUMBER OF HOMELESS IN OUR AREA. WE AMPLIFIED OUR ATTENTION TO THE PLIGHT OF THE SUFFERING AND DYING AND HAVE INCREASED OUR EFFORT TO HELP SINGLE MOTHERS AND THEIR CHILDREN (THE WIDOWS AND ORPHANS OF TODAY). WE ALSO INCREASED OUR EFFORTS TO EDUCATE THOSE ENTERING INTO THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE ON THE ISSUES AND DANGERS THAT ARE POUNDING AWAY AT THE SANCTITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON AND FAMILY. AS WE ARE ABOUT TO CONSECRATE OUR ARCHDIOCESE TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE. THE DEACONS HAVE ALREADY DONE MUCH TO CONSECRATE THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE OF DENVER TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY THROUGH MARION RETREATS AND 33 DAYS OF MORNING GLORY THAT WAS PRESENTED TO US AT OUR CONSOLITATED RETREAT WITH FATHER MICHAEL GAITLEY.

BUT WE CAN DO MORE. THE WORLD IS CONSTANTLY HAMMERING AWAY AT ALL THAT GOD HAS MADE GOOD, BEAUTIFUL AND HOLY.  WE MUST STAND GUARD AND DEFEND WHAT BELONGS TO GOD!

THIS COMING YEAR, WITH YOUR HELP, WE INTEND ON EXPANDING OUR PRESENCE IN THE SHELTERS; PARTICULARLY THE MARISOL HOMES AND CLINICS. IT IS MY PRAYER THAT WE CAN INCREASE OUR PRESENCE AS CLERGY, AS WE DEFEND THE TEMPLES OF THE UNBORN, THE TEMPLES OF THE ELDERLY, AND THE TEMPLES OF FATHERLESS CHILDREN (AND THEIR MOTHERS) THROUGH OUR COORDINATED WORK WITH CATHOLIC CHARITIES.  I HAVE ASKED DEACONS GEOFFERY BENNETT, GREG FRANK, AND TIM KILBARGER TO BE MORE ASSERTIVE IN INCLUDING DEACONS IN PRO-LIFE INITIATIVES AND WITH WOMEN’S SHELTERS AND CALL ON DEACONS TO BE MORE PRESENT IN RALLIES AND AT PRAYER MEETINGS WHERE ABORTIONS ARE COMMITTED.

I AM ALSO ASKING THE DEACONS TO STEP UP THEIR EFFORTS TO HELP THOSE VICTIMS AND POTENTIAL VICTIMS OF SEXUAL CRIMES AND ABUSES.   I AM CURRENTLY LOOKING INTO WAYS FOR DEACONS TO BE INVOLVED IN ASSISTING THE TEMPLES OF THOSE WOMEN AND CHILDREN THAT ARE VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND THOSE ADDICTED TO PORNGRAPHY.  I HAD A MEETING YESTERDAY WITH DR. LINDA MONTAGNA, FROM THE SACRED HEART COUNSELING CENTER AND ASKED HER TO HELP PUT TOGETHER A GROUP (A THINK TANK) TO GENERATE IDEAS ON HOW TO COMBAT AND DETER VIOLATIONS OF THE TEMPLES OF YOUNG PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY YOUNG WOMAN SO THEY CAN RECOGNIZE AND AVOID POTENTIAL PREDATORS THAT UTILIZE DRUGS AND ALCOHOL TO RENDER THEIR VICTIMS HELPLESS.  ALSO, TO FIND WAYS TO DETER THESE PREDATORS FROM EMPTYING OUT THE HOPE IN THE SOULS OF THEIR INTENDED VICTIMS.

WE HAVE TOUCHED A LOT OF PEOPLE IN OUR PARISHES AND OUR COMMUNITIES. THESE SOULS LOOK TO GOD FOR THEIR STRENGTH AND HOPE IN HIS PROTECTION AND LOVE.  LET US BOLDLY ENTER INTO BATTLE TOGETHER WITH THE SAINTS AND ANGELS AGAINST THE FORCES OF EVIL THAT ARE AT WAR IN EACH OF THE HEARTS OF THOSE THAT ARE POOR IN SPIRIT; THOSE THAT ARE VUNERABLE; THOSE THAT WE HAVE TOUCHED WITH THE LIGHT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE WORD THAT IS JESUS; BUT, ARE BEING ATTACKED BY THE WEEDS OF SATAN AND HIS MINIONS.

IT IS UP TO US TO TEND TO THE SOIL WHERE THE SOWER HAS PLANTED HIS SEEDS SO THAT IT IS RICH WITH THE LOVE AND GOODNESS OF OUR CREATOR. THIS WE HAVE BEEN TASKED BY OUR ARCHBISHOP TO DO AS DEACONS, PRIESTS WHO ARE ALSO DEACONS, AND BY THE FAITHFUL OF THE CHURCH OF DENVER.  LET US BE BOLD IN OUR MINISTRY AND HELP OTHER TO HOLD FAST TO THAT PEARL OF GREAT PRICE– THAT IS LOVE.  THAT IS GOODNESS.  THAT IS GOD.

 

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