I recently had the pleasure of offering a workshop for participants in the permanent deaconate program in the Archdiocese of New York. We had a great couple of hours working on Scrutinies, and I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that many went home fired up to do more with these rites in the parish.
The question I’d like to raise here, however, is more general. When getting to know the participants at this event, I polled them for their experience with the process. Not all the deacons and deacon candidates had direct experience with the RCIA but, of those who did, most were active in the catechetical aspects of the process.
I am wondering if there are deacons out there who are more active in the “apostolic works” aspect of the process (RCIA 75.4). Do any dioceses connect the dots between RCIA 75.4 and the role of the deacon? Apostolic works is the part of formation in the Christian life that is founded most explicitly on the classic category of diaconia or service, after all.
This is not to say that lay ministers can’t or don’t get involved in service—they most certainly can and should and do. But I wonder if we might have an opportunity here to strengthen the process—one that hasn’t been sufficiently explored. Your thoughts?