Monday, June 20, 2011

Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, MI: Pastoral Letter on the Diaconate

A pastoral letter, “The Deacon: Icon of Jesus Christ the Servant,” has been issued by Bishop Alexander K. Sample for the Diocese of Marquette. In the letter, Bishop Sample not only provides a look to the future of the diaconate in the diocese, but also explains the ministry of deacons in Church history and reflects on theology concerning these members of the clergy.

Calling the restoration of the diaconate as a permanent ministry a “source of tremendous grace and blessings for the Church,” Bishop Sample said there have been, nonetheless, some “misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the essential identity of the permanent deacon.” To address these issues, a study committee was formed in 2009. The findings of that study informed the bishop’s pastoral letter, which was issued June 9, 2011.

Read Bishop Sample's column that ran in the June 17, 2011 issue of the diocesan newspaper, The U.P. Catholic, on the pastoral letter.

Read a story from The U.P. Catholic summarizing the pastoral letter, including reactions from deacons.

Download a PDF of a tri-fold brochure on the pastoral letter that was distributed through parishes and missions across the diocese.

Hear Bishop Sample's audio message on the letter. (To download the MP3 file to your computer, "right click" and select "Save Target As" or "Save File As")

Read the full text of Bishop Sample's pastoral letter in a downloadable PDF.

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