Because Jesus came not to be served but to serve (Mk 10:45), his Mystical Body, the Church, is essentially a servant Church. It’s precisely through this service that she carries out her mission.
The ancient diaconate was instituted, and has been restored in our time, not simply to stand alongside priestly, religious, and lay ministry but to imbue and empower each with a renewed sense of service. Indeed, the Greek word diakonia, which is translated in English as “service,” can also be translated into the Latin word ministerium, translated in English as “ministry.” Thus, when we look at episcopal ministry, priestly ministry, religious ministry, or lay ministry, service is essential to all.
Service is not something we do but someone we give: our very selves. It is an act of love rooted in a divine love already poured out for us. This book provides a radical but thoroughly consistent rethinking of the Christian life that takes up the tradition and builds upon it in a way that is both old and new.
“In Discovering Christ the Servant, Deacon Cerrato has provided a concise yet detailed spiritual roadmap leading to a deeper understanding of lay service. What surprised me was his approach: developing a lay spirituality of service by looking through the lens of diaconal service. Absolutely brilliant!” From the Foreword by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers
About the Author
Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Ph.D., is editor of OSV’s The Deacon magazine, executive director of Diaconal Ministries, and director of the diaconate for the Diocese of Joliet. He also offers spiritual direction through the Pastoral Solutions Institute. Formerly, he served in full-time pastoral ministry, specializing in adult faith formation. In 2020, he was appointed by Pope Francis to the international pontifical commission on women and the diaconate. He and his wife, Judith, have been married for 39 years, and they have ten children and many grandchildren.
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 Servant Mysteries, and living the Servant Mysteries.
With her accessible, everyday approach to life, writer, mom, and volunteer, Lara C. Patangan helps us realize that our everyday compassion makes a difference in exponential ways and that mercy always matters. Practicing mercy isn’t a passive way of renewal; rather, engaging in transformative acts of service empowers us to fulfill our purpose to love and serve God, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
If you’ve always meant to do more Christian service with your kids, then this is the book for you. In 67 Ways to Do the Works of Mercy with Your Kids, Heidi Indahl provides parents with a roadmap for teaching kids the value (and rewards!) of Christian service by doing it with them.