OLGA TAÑON CRIES, TALKS ABOUT THE CONDITION OF HER HUSBAND AND HER HUSBAND’S CONDITION
When a married man proposes to respond to God’s call, concretizing it in beginning a propaedeutic itinerary that will lead him to be ordained deacon by his bishop, at the service of Christ and his Church, a new situation becomes present for the wife of this man. This new situation can be perceived and lived by her in different ways, both in relation to her marriage and from the point of view of the Church.
First of all, it is the husband who is preparing to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders in the diaconate degree, and who will be ordained deacon. But his wife will find herself in a new situation, which will make her redefine not only their relationship of reciprocity and their family life, in the face of an event that concerns them both, even if in a different way, but also rethink their place in the Church. The wife assumes her husband’s vocation, making her life a fundamental option shared with him.
Broadly speaking, we can say that in the formation stage, the wives of the candidates are required to participate in meetings, retreats, talks; but many times this participation diminishes when the husband has been ordained; sometimes this happens due to lack of time or interest on the part of the wife, but in many occasions it happens due to the lesser solicitude or care for the wives and the families on the part of the hierarchy of the Church itself.
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Prestauration aul de VI of the permanent diaconate in the Roman Catholic Church in 1967 by its apostolic letter Sacrum diaconatus ordinem (SDO) introduced norms, many of these rudimentary ones being presented in terms of appeal to the directive jurisdiction of episcopal conferences authorized by the Apostolic See- for the formation of the identity and officer of the permanent deacon. One of the guidelines for consideration set forth by the SDO is that of the required (or acceptable) states of life of candidates that make them acceptable for the conferral of the diaconate. SDO, citing the question initially proposed Lumen Gentium (§ 29), states the following:
‘The manner will have to be indicated in which the new discipline will be carried out, that is, whether it is a question of conferring the diaconate on ‘suitable young men for whom the law of celibacy must remain intact, or on men of more mature age, even those living in the married state’, or on both types of candidates. ( SDO, §I.2)
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Last October 31, the first five candidates for the permanent diaconate were admitted to receive the sacrament. This is the group of the first permanent deacons who will be part of the diocesan community of the Archdiocese of Toledo.
I live and celebrate the faith in the Parish of Our Lady of the Assumption of Esquivias, my reference in the faith and where I share it in community. I collaborate in the liturgy, in the catechesis leading a group of confirmation and ascending life and I visit the sick. But the most important date for me in my life is October 1, 1967, because on that day I was made a child of God by baptism and a member of his Church, in my beloved parish of Esquivias.
Thanks be to God Encarna recovered, in spite of some sequels and it was when we spoke again with D. Braulio who sent us to prepare ourselves to the diaconal community of the archdiocese of Madrid, while the process of establishment to the permanent diaconate was being carried out. The diaconal community of Madrid, was and is for Encarna and me a community of brothers in which we were welcomed, supported, formed and above all we were transmitted what the permanent diaconate is in works and words. Once the permanent diaconate was established in Toledo, we joined the formation process in our beloved Archdiocese.
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Icon of a deaconessDeaconesses was the term used in the primitive Church to signify the persons of the female sex who had in the Church a function of service, but never like that of the male deacons who from always formed part of the sacred order, being sacred ministers like the presbyter and the bishop who were and are the ordained ministers. St. Paul speaks of them in his epistle to the Romans. Pliny the Younger, in one of his letters to Trajan, makes it known to this prince that he had made the deaconesses, whom he calls ministrae, give torment.
The name of deaconesses referred to certain laywomen who were devout women consecrated to the service of the Church and who performed for women the services which could not be decently rendered by deacons: for example, in baptism which was conferred by immersion on women, as well as on men.
The Council of Nicaea places deaconesses in the same rank as the clergy. But their ordination was not sacramental. It was an ecclesiastical ceremony. Nevertheless, taking advantage of this to elevate themselves to a higher rank than those of their sex, the council of Laodicea forbade ordaining them henceforth. The first council of Orange in 441 also forbade their ordination and obliged those who had been ordained to receive the blessing with the simple laywomen.