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September 20, 2015

Do you miss Deacon Bill?  I do.  We have great Deacons Robert and Terry (St. Pat’s) but Deacon Bill always gave me an example of unconditional service in the Church.  The earliest Christian use of the word “Deacon” (Greek: diakonos: servant, minister, helper) occurs in the Letter to the Philippians 1: 1, predating the account in the Acts of the Apostles 6: 1-6 of the choice of seven “Assistants” to facilitate the mission of the Twelve Apostles.  At first they were chosen to serve at the table, but later on we can see them preaching the Gospel and witnessing to the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as in the case of St. Stephen (Acts 6: 8…) and Philip (Acts 8: 26…).  Then in the course of the Church history, their responsibilities focus on three dimensions: charity, liturgy, and evangelization.

The deacons, in the name of the Church, exercise charity in the community.  They are to take care of the poor, the sick, the hungry, the homeless…  In other words, their charitable responsibility is the responsibility of the whole Church. 

Besides the charitable works, the deacons help with liturgies in the community.  They are to assist the bishop and priest in celebrating Mass, to witness marriages, to baptize and to conduct Catholic funerals.

The third responsibility of a deacon is evangelization.  They are to preach in the community, to teach catechism, and to give a good example of Christian life to the people.  Our diocese has a program for future permanent deacons. If you want to know more information, please call Fr. Gaffney at 403-245-2735 or Fr. James Hagel at 403-257-6054.

In the Gospel of this Sunday, Jesus is talking about his suffering and death, but his friends are arguing “who was the greatest among them.”  Jesus is quite forthright.  Disciples are called to serve, even to death if necessary, and the service they render will bring with it no human acclaim or compensation-that is the Christian paradox!  We have yet to grasp how different we are called to be.  Jesus brings a little child in and confirms that “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”

I would like to thank all those who have responded wonderfully to the call for services and ministries in our parish.  Their response is an encouragement to the priest and a sign of “being a servant of all.” 

They are “Somebody Else.”

There’s a clever guy named Somebody Else,

There’s nothing this guy can’t do.

He is busy from morning till way late at night,

Just substituting for you and me.

We’re asked to do this or you’re asked to do that,

And what is our ready reply?

Get Somebody Else to do that job,

He’ll do it much better than I.

So much to do this weary old world –     

So much and workers so few,

And Somebody Else, all weary and worn,

Is still substituting for you and me.

The next time we’re asked to do something worthwhile,

Just give this ready reply,

If Somebody Else can give time and support,

My goodness, so can I.