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Deacon administrators to oversee some parishes in Pittsburgh

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 05/25/15


I think we’ll be seeing more of this in years to come. From Pittsburgh Catholic:

Bishop David Zubik has announced plans to appoint deacon administrators to oversee day-to-day management of some parishes in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The position is expected to be piloted in a few parishes beginning this summer and potentially in other parishes in the future. It is part of an effort to find new ways to provide vibrant Catholic ministry with the number of priests available now and in the future. “The many gifted and experienced permanent deacons in our diocese have opened the door to this new possibility, which will enable our priests to continue to devote themselves to their pastoral and sacramental ministry that they love so much,” Bishop Zubik said. “While not every permanent deacon is expected to be called and trained to do this ministry, for those who are, it perfectly fulfills their responsibility to serve the community of faith in ways that support our priests and people.” As described in the sixth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, deacons are ordained ministers of the Catholic Church, with a special calling to do works of charity and service, proclaim the word of God and assist in the liturgical and sacramental life of the church. They are under the authority of the bishop, who assigns them to specific ministries at parishes or at institutions such as hospitals, jails or nursing homes. Deacons cannot celebrate Mass, hear confessions or anoint the sick. They can, however, preach homilies, lead the faithful in prayer and conduct wake services. Outside of Mass, they can baptize, witness marriages and conduct funeral services. The deacon administrator is a model of ministry that the church provides and that the diocese is exploring in response to changing demographics and fewer priests. These models include inter-parish collaboration, ministry teams serving more than one parish and multiple parishes served by one pastor. Some dioceses in the United States have relied on deacon administrators for decades. One in six permanent deacons nationwide was serving in a full- or part-time paid position of pastoral care of one or more parishes in 2013, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, which conducts research on and for the Catholic Church.

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