Director of Clergy Formation
Fr. Keith Stewart
Pastor, Church of the Nativity
5955 St. Elmo
Bartlett, TN 38135
Director of Deacons
Deacon Jeff Drzycimski
682-6606, ext. 1953
Continuing Education Coordinator
Deacon Dale Brown
Todayís Deacons are called to a threefold ministry
Ministry of Charity
The Deacon is ordained to be a witness to the Gospel through a life of service. A Deacon serves through personal encounters: ministering to people that are poor, aged, sick, and prisoners. Deacons participate in programs dealing with community problems like substance or child abuse. Deacons work with youth and young adults in various parish and/or community programs. Deacons are to be a positive influence for change in the world...so that society may be renewed by Christ and transformed into the family of God.
Ministry of the Word
Deacons proclaim the Gospel. Deacons are agents of evangelization in announcing the Good News of Christ in the workplace and society. Deacons also preach at liturgical gatherings: teach in religious education programs, sacramental preparation programs, e.g. baptism, marriage, RCIA and others.
Ministry of Liturgy
Deacons assist at the Eucharistic Celebration, administer baptism, witness marriages, officiate at wakes and funerals, administer sacramentals, and preside at prayer services, e.g. communion services and benediction.
You may not see a Deacon as much as a Priest as the focus of the Deacon's ministry is different. As a carryover from the diaconal roots in Scripture, the Deaconís ministry is of service, Which may not necessarily be at the Parish.
A Deaconís ministry is not a job per se to pay the family bills. Rather, Deacons are usually employed in the secular world in a variety of jobs including teachers, real estate agents, bankers, doctors and others. This provides the ministry unique challenges and opportunities.
The Diaconate is a unique ministry in the Catholic Church. Deacons can be married or single. Single Deacons pledge celibacy at ordination. Whereas, a married Deacon pledges that he will be celibate upon his wifeís death.
A married Deacon is not alone in ministry. Wives are an essential part of a Deacon's ministry. In fact, the term sometimes used is "Deacon Couple". This shared ministry is an extension of the Sacrament of Marriage and a wifeís consent is required for a man to be ordained a Deacon. Wives are involved from the beginning of the formation process. This formation process is a period of time spent in formal education, spiritual direction, and practical ministry. Through all of this, wives are invited to attend all the classes, do the assignments and be present throughout the program.