Deacon Leslie Mazzacano's Message

Deacon Leslie Mazzacano's Message



What does a deacon do? –an excerpt from a sermon upon the installation of a deacon by Dn. Vicki Gray, Christ the Lord Church, Pinole, CA

The calling of a deacon–offers the opportunity to ruminate on an oft-asked question: "What does a deacon do?"–a question usually followed by "When will you be ordained a priest?" or "Why don’t you go all the way."

Well I have gone all the way . . . at least in terms of ordinations. For me, I have never felt called to be anything other than a deacon, a vocational deacon.

That said, I remain constantly confronted by that question: "What does a deacon do?"

The answer is probably best found in the words of examination contained in the rubric for the ordination of a deacon on page 543 of our Book of Common Prayer–words I have internalized and seek to live by.

For their part, deacons are in the church to empower us all to exercise our shared baptismal ministries. We are not in the church to wear bright sashes, to elevate chalices, or to clutch tightly to some Gospel book, but rather to ring forth what is written on the pages of that Book . . . "to make Christ and his redemptive love known by word and example." If anything, we are called to model the Gospel, to be icons of sorts of God’s love in the world . . . icons -like Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Oscar Romero, and yes–thank you–Cesar Chavez-none of whom were afraid to get their hands dirty.

In the words of that ordination rubric, we are called "to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely" and "to interpret to the church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world." To do that, we have to get out into the world among God’s people and seek in them the face of Jesus. I doubt that any of this is in any diocesan customary, but it’s what we need to do if we are to do all that deacons do. And it’s what we all need to do if we are to do all we’re called to do as Christians.

When I think about my calling and my vows to serve "all people" particularly the poor, the weak, the sick and the lonely...I know that God has placed me here at Trinity to do just that. The people that cross our doorsteps at time are the poor, the weak, the sick and the lonely. By your generosity I am able to offer them food and sometimes shelter, a prayer, a bus pass, a smile and most of all the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The families that we serve at Christmas and now in Christmas in July have empowered you and me to show God’s redemptive love by word and example. The shut-ins that I visit along with the Eucharistic Ministers also connect Trinity to them, bringing the church to them and their concerns back to the church.

I certainly feel very blessed to be called to this wonderful vocation of deacons. I am doubly blessed because I have been given the opportunity to be a deacon here at Trinity. I too have no desire or calling to become a priest. I think the order of deacons is a full and equal one and just as it says in 1 Corinthians 12. "Now there are a varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit and there are varieties of services but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone." We are all given special gifts, God gave me the gift of the Deaconate that I receive much joy from and I hope I give as much joy back.


Enjoy the summer and love well.


Deacon Leslie