Michigan, USA - Hakim Denha, Joseph Haji, Namil Karrumi, Imad Katchel, and Amir Jarjosa were honored for their faithful dedication and service to the Chaldean people. The newly ordained men stood before the public and proclaimed their commitment to the church and community. An overflowing crowd with standing room only stood in reverence as the Bishop of the Chaldean Diocese in Michigan presided over the ordination of the deacons. Alongside the faithful leaders the diocese also inducted new Eucharistic ministers.
Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, deacons have played a vital role in serving the needs of the community.
Deacons appeared early on in Church history. Tradition tells us that the first deacons were named in Acts 6:1-6. The deacons were selected in order to free up the Apostles from worrying about the daily needs of the community in order to more fully dedicate themselves to the proclamation of the Gospel. Throughout the writings of the Early Church Fathers we find numerous references to deacons and their duties. Over time, the role of deacons became more fully defined. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
The ordination of deacons - "in order to serve"
1569 "At a lower level of the hierarchy are to be found deacons, who receive the imposition of hands 'not unto the priesthood, but unto the ministry."'53 At an ordination to the diaconate only the bishop lays hands on the candidate, thus signifying the deacon's special attachment to the bishop in the tasks of his "diakonia."54
1570 Deacons share in Christ's mission and grace in a special way.55 The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them with an imprint ("character") which cannot be removed and which configures them to Christ, who made himself the "deacon" or servant of all.56 Among other tasks, it is the task of deacons to assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, above all the Eucharist, in the distribution of Holy Communion, in assisting at and blessing marriages, in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching, in presiding over funerals, and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity.57
1571 Since the Second Vatican Council the Latin Church has restored the diaconate "as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy,"58 while the Churches of the East had always maintained it. This permanent diaconate, which can be conferred on married men, constitutes an important enrichment for the Church's mission. Indeed it is appropriate and useful that men who carry out a truly diaconal ministry in the Church, whether in its liturgical and pastoral life or whether in its social and charitable works, should "be strengthened by the imposition of hands which has come down from the apostles. They would be more closely bound to the altar and their ministry would be made more fruitful through the sacramental grace of the diaconate."59
Alongside the deacons Bishop Ibrahim consecrated Eucharistic ministers. These extraordinary ministers are tasked with serving the faithful community. The Ministry of Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist has a responsibility to assist in the distribution of the Eucharist and to homebound parishioners and those in hospitals and nursing centers as well.
Eucharistic Ministers act as representatives of Christ and the Chaldean community in bringing the body of Christ to those in need. By the minister's compassion and concern, he or she fulfills the words of Christ, "I was sick and you visited me."
[To view photos of the ceremony CLICK HERE]