Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.
These are the words a newly ordained deacon hears from his bishop as the Book of the Gospels is placed in his hands. It is a solemn but joyous moment in which the deacon is called to a lifelong pursuit of bearing witness to Christ the Servant.
The foundation of the deacon’s diaconate, the very foundation of his ministry, is intimate communion with Christ the Servant. This communion originates and deepens in the interior life, and it is here, through prayer and meditation, where he truly discovers God on a personal level and, at the same time, discovers himself in a more profound way.
In Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate, Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, offers deacons and deacon candidates an integrated approach to diaconal life and ministry, rooted in the cultivation of the interior life. In this study, Deacon Dominic outlines the primacy of the interior life, the necessity of abandonment, the sacrament of the present moment, and living the Servant Mysteries.
Entering into a new and more intimate relationship with Christ the Servant will open deacons and deacon candidates to their true identity, and their mission, as heralds of the Gospel of Christ.
"In this book, Deacon Dominic provides a fresh way of looking at the diaconate based on his personal experience, unique theological reflection, and a spirituality centered on Christ, the Servant. His insights are worthy of contemplation by the laity and priests." — Most Reverend Shawn McKnight, Bishop of Jefferson City, Missouri
"A fascinating book that every deacon — and anyone curious about deacons — should add to their library. Deacon Cerrato has crafted a rich resource that serves as an excellent introduction to the spirituality of the diaconate, linking this vocation of service to the entire Body of Christ. Encountering Christ the Servant really means encountering him in one another — and this book helps open our eyes to the beautiful possibilities of a servant church." — Deacon Greg Kandra, author and blogger, The Deacon's Bench
"Encountering Christ the Servant penetrates the heart of diaconal spirituality like no other work before it. Rooted in the ordained deacon's intimate participation in divine love and cultivated by a rich interior life that enlivens his ministry, Deacon Cerrato elevates and advances the understanding of deacons as a living icon of Christ the Servant. This book, which shines a bright light on the spiritual life of the deacon, is truly a gift to the entire Church!" — Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, author of Father Augustus Tolton: The Slave Who Became the First African American Priest
"Anytime there is a specialized work that focuses on the uniqueness of the deacon, it is a blessing. Anytime anyone attempts to plumb the depths of diaconate identity and spirituality the blessing is doubled! Readers who draw from this text will be consoled, challenged, and hopefully opened up to God's plan for their ongoing conversion. Thank you, Deacon Dominic, for providing one aspect of a broader and important movement seeking the renewal of the Diaconate." — Dcn. Stephen F, Miletic, Ph.D., Professor of Scripture, Interim Director at the Institute for Diaconate Renewal, Franciscan University of Steubenville
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Ph.D., is Editor of OSV’s The Deacon magazine, Executive Director of Diaconal Ministries, and Director of Diaconal Formation for the Diocese of Joliet. Ordained 25 years, Deacon Dominic is an author, national speaker, and retreat master. In 2020, he was appointed by Pope Francis to the international papal commission on women and the diaconate. He and his wife, Judith, have been married for 38 years, and they have 10 children and many grandchildren.