• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

Thursday, 30 September 2021 09:40

Service at the core of Duc's 'lockdown' diaconate

Duc gardening in Marsfield 2021 650After being ordained a deacon in Melbourne in March, Duc Le SVD eagerly arrived at Mary, Mother of the Church parish in Macquarie Fields for his pastoral placement in June, only to find that a few days after his arrival Sydney was plunged into COVID lockdown and the churches were closed.

A short time later, while Duc was undertaking a retreat at the SVD Provincial Centre in Marsfield, the restrictions were tightened and residents of greater Sydney were prevented from travelling more than 10km.

Duc has been at Marsfield ever since, and says his diaconate, while unusual, has still been fruitful.

“The main house is where the head offices of the Province are located, and it is also a home for the elderly confreres,” he says.

“It is a multicultural community with missionaries from Australia, Fiji, Germany, the Netherlands, the Philippines, New Zealand, Poland, Iceland, India, Italy and Vietnam. So, it is interesting to learn wisdom from them.”

Duc says that while his diaconate has taken an unforeseen turn, he has taken his lead from the meaning of the word ‘deacon’.

“The word deacon comes from the Greek word diakonos, which means ‘helper’,” he says. “So, the role of a deacon is to help.”

While at Marsfield, Duc has helped in a variety of ways, including assisting with liturgical matters such as Mass and preaching to the community in the small private chapel with the senior confreres.

Because of COVID restrictions, the community’s cook was not able to come to work, so Duc stepped into the cooking role. Similarly, he took on much of the gardening, pruning trees, planting vegetables and taking care of the flowers.

“Besides that, I often take a walk in the garden and capture the beauties of nature with my cameras,” says the keen photographer. “And, along with that, I play music with the elderly missionaries and I also do haircuts!”

Amongst all his duties as a helper, Duc says he still takes time to nurture his spiritual life during his diaconate year with prayer, reflection, spiritual direction.

“And I take time to learn more by reading books and newspapers, calling my family and friends during this difficult COVID time,” he says.

“I feel that my ministry in this time has been quite fruitful. I also believe God has planned something for me in the future.

“The deacon’s ministry in times of COVID shows that the essence of the diaconate is ministry. It doesn’t only consist in focusing on the liturgical aspects, but goes beyond that, responding to the need of the time. This is the variety of ministry.”

Duc is due to be ordained to the priesthood in November this year. He has been assigned to the United States Chicago Province.

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