One of the most frequent words used in papal homilies the past few months is “joy.” How will that play out in the years to come? Positively, I suspect.
CARA notes that the number of American permanent deacons rises. The full report is here.
Perhaps the big advantages of most deacons and lay ecclesial ministers over some young priests is that our vocations are developed from our service as lay people in parishes. A sense of service is balanced with life in the world. Where we more easily and readily get the “smell of sheep,” as Pope Francis puts it. And I think that spirit of service is somewhat stronger in the modern world than the traditional interpretation of an attraction of a priest’s life set apart.
What I see missing is the inspiration of more young adults into church ministry. I have two staff colleagues age thirty or under. I thank God for them every day.