| TO PERMANENT DEACONS: "BE ACTIVE APOSTLES"
| VATICAN CITY, FEB 19, 2000 (VIS) - At midday today in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope received
participants in the Jubilee for Permanent Deacons, and told them that "as ministers of God's
people" they are called "to action through liturgical work, educational and catechistic activity and
the service of charity, in communion with bishops and the clergy."
"Dear deacons," said the Holy Father, "be active apostles of the new evangelization. Bring
everyone to Christ! Thanks also to your commitment, may His Kingdom spread in your families, in
your workplaces, in parishes, in dioceses and the in the whole world! ... Do not allow yourselves to
be halted by anything, continue with faith in Christ, following the example of Lawrence the deacon
whose venerable and distinguished relics you requested be present on this occasion."
John Paul II assured the deacons that, if they were fully faithful to Christ, they would "also be
faithful to the various ministries entrusted to you by the Church. How valuable your service to the
Word and the catechesis truly is! And what can we say of you as deacons of the Eucharist? A
role that puts you in direct contact with the sacrificial altar during the liturgy."
"Through the sacramental bond that links you to bishops and clergy, you fully live the ecclesial
'communio.' ... All the features of your unique spirituality clearly arise from your identity as
deacons, this spirituality is essentially one of service."
The Pope indicated that "the Jubilee represents a suitable time to restore the original and authentic
appearance of this identity and this spirituality, thus internally renewing and mobilizing all apostolic
energies." He concluded by highlighting that "faith must be transmitted and communicated. It is
also your task to introduce young generations to the only and unchangeable Gospel of salvation, in
order that the future may be rich with hope for everyone."