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Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
The Minister to Deacons Office has responsibility for post-ordination continuing formation for the ordained permanent deacons and their spouses in human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral areas. The principal function of the permanent deacon is to collaborate with the bishop and the priests in the exercise of a ministry of word, liturgy and service. It is not of a deacon's own wisdom but of the Word of God, calling all to conversion and holiness. ("Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons," 1998)
Under the direction of the bishop, the minister to deacons is guided in his ministry through diocesan norms with the intent and content of the “Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons of the Congregation for the Clergy” and the “National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States.”
At his address to the permanent deacons of the United States ("The Heart of the Diaconate Servants of the Mysteries of Christ and Servants of Your Brothers and Sisters," Sept. 19, 1987), St. John Paul II said this about the ministry of the permanent diaconate: It "is the Church's service sacramentalized ... This is at the very heart of the diaconate to which you are called: to be a servant of the mysteries of Christ and, at one and the same time, to be a servant of your brothers and sisters."
— Serves as the bishop’s representative implementing continuing education hours for diocesan deacons in active service
— Assists the bishop in his supervision of the spiritual and personal welfare of deacons and their families
— Visits deacons, reviews and evaluates their assignments and makes recommendations to the bishop
— Plans and implements an annual program for diaconate continuing formation
— Assists in the pastoral care of deacons and their families, especially those living outside the diocese, who may be ill or on a ministerial leave of absence