I read of the recent St. Bernadine’s Spiritual Renewal Symposium. The theme was “There Is Power In The Name Of Jesus!” Four permanent deacons, Curtis Turner, Paul Shelton, Steven Rubio and Paul Barksdale, would be the only preachers at this four-day Symposium, which drew me to attend.
Monsignor Edward Miller, pastor of St. Bernardine, indicated he had never heard of four permanent deacons preaching at the same service. They did not disappoint. They shared stories, some funny, some sad, from their personal experiences; they shared about their deep, exciting, comforting personal relationship with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; and about the power of that exalted Name as repeatedly proven in their personal lives, in Scripture and throughout the history of our Catholic Church, including the ministry of their parish’s patron, Franciscan St. Bernadine Sierra.The deacons challenged the congregation to go forth and “Lift up the name of Jesus” in our daily lives while continuously praying, in Phil 2: 5-11 humility, “I give myself away, so You (Jesus) can use me.”My humble prayer is that more permanent deacons will be more frequently offered, and will accept, the opportunity to preach and challenge the congregations in their respective parishes, as occurred at St. Bernadine. Thanks to Monsignor Miller, the permanent deacons and the most accepting and loving people of St. Bernadine for this memorable experience.
Fallon is a permanent deacon assigned to St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, Woodstock and prison ministry.