Are Deacons the New Nuns?
The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University has a new study out on the diaconate, which I always consider one of the most remarkable developments of the Second Vatican Council. The explosion in vocations, the virtual resurrection of a permanent diaconate, are amazing when viewed in the context of history. The diaconate is still too little appreciate, most likely, and understood, most certainly, by many Catholics, and I am guilty as charged.
For example, this finding in the CARA survey struck me, as summarized at the USCCB site:
Compensation and formation: Fewer than one in five (18 percent) permanent deacons are financially compensated for ministry. Eighty-four percent of responding dioceses require post-ordination formation. One in six dioceses provides post-ordination formation in a language other than English —such as Spanish and American Sign Language— and more than eight in ten dioceses provide formation opportunities for the wives of deacons.
I know deacons have other jobs, or are very often older, retired, and/or have working spouses, or other forms of support. But that level of compensation still seems quite low given the amount of work they they do, at least in my limited experience. Sort of like the religious orders of years past? Is this fair or not fair? Or just the way it is?
Hat tip: CWNews