Meet Deacon Randy Desrochers, Director of Diaconal Formation for the Diocese of Lansing. A retired hospital and military surgeon, Deacon Randy and his wife Carol celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this weekend. Together they have four children and two grandchildren, Jackson and Levi (pictured). Deacon Randy was ordained to the permanent diaconate in 2013.
Deacons can baptize; proclaim the Gospel; preach the homily; assist the bishop or priest in the celebration of the Eucharist; assist at and bless marriages; and preside at funerals. They also dedicate themselves to charitable endeavors, which was often their role in the early Church.
Since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the Catholic Church has restored the diaconate as a permanent rank within the hierarchy of Holy Orders as opposed to “transitory” deacons who will, in due course, be ordained to the priesthood. Permanent deacons can be either married or unmarried men. Upon National Vocations Awareness Week, Deacon Randy writes this of the permanent diaconate:
“A permanent deacon is blessed with the mission of bringing Jesus Christ the Servant to all of God’s people, whether they be Catholic, Non-Catholic or Non-Christian. The life journey that a man takes in becoming a permanent deacon varies from man to man, but it always begins with either the statement, “You should be a deacon”, or the question, “Have you ever considered becoming a deacon?” Sometimes these words are spoken by a pastor, a fellow parishioner, or a family member. Sometimes they are spoken directly by the Holy Spirit in the quiet of man’s mind.”
“Regardless of however it may have been spoken, if you have ever heard those words consider contacting me, Deacon Randy Desrochers, the Director of Diaconal Formation for the Diocese of Lansing at 517-342-2571 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us together begin to explore what that journey towards the permanent diaconate might look like for you. May God bless you today.”