Our Life of Service

The Handbook for Catholic Deacons

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: December 3, 2021

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Winner of a 2022 Association of Catholic Publishers Excellence in Publishing Award: Resources for Ministry (Third Place).

Whether you are seasoned from years of ministry or are just getting started living out the vows you made at ordination, this essential handbook will provide the spiritual and practical support you need as a Catholic deacon in the Church today.

In Our Life of Service, international speaker and bestselling author Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers will inspire and uplift you as he and his brother deacons—including Greg Kandra, Larry Oney, Dominic Cerrato, and Thomas J. Fox—share their testimonies and insights about how to serve God with determination, faith, and vision. Burke-Sivers explains the gift of the diaconate as a living image of Christ the Servant in the world, a source of comfort and hope at a time when both are in short supply.

Burke-Sivers explores the daily realities of life to answer important questions about the diaconate such as:

  • What does the Church teach about the purpose of this ministry both within the parish and the world?
  • How are the three key responsibilities of teaching, sanctifying, and leading entrusted to a deacon at ordination practiced in daily life?
  • How does his commitment to his wife help a married deacon balance his duties to his family and ministry?
  • What are practical strategies and solutions for the challenges deacons face, especially when conflicts arise within ministry?

Burke-Sivers also calls for younger, more diverse groups of men who reflect on the face of the Church to become permanent deacons in order to bridge the gap between the Church and the world and to reach the unchurched.

Each chapter contains questions for reflection, action steps, and prayers to help deacons strengthen their own commitment to their calling. Drawing from the writings of St. John Paul II and other ecclesial writings about the purpose and gift of the permanent diaconate, Burke-Sivers educates and inspires us to more fully appreciate this gift and enriches and encourages those who have themselves answered this call.

Written for deacons in active ministry, Our Life of Service is also inspiring reading for Catholics in the pew who are considering a call or who simply want to understand the purpose and gift of the permanent diaconate.

Product Details

Pages: 192

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 9781646800926

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

  • “One this country's most gifted deacons.”

    “Any time Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers speaks, deacons should listen. He is a man of many gifts, not least of all his character and love of the Church. This book is a gift from his heart to the Church and vocation he loves; receive it in love as well. Our Life of Service flows out of the life of service of one this country's most gifted deacons.”

    Deacon James Keating
    Professor of spiritual theology at Kenrick Glennon Seminary

  • “Practical and collaborative.”

    “I recommend this book to both those who are discerning a call to diaconal ministry and those who are actively engaged in the ministry.  It is a practical and collaborative work, with solid theological foundations and spiritual exercises to help deacons and candidates reflect prayerfully on what it means to be a deacon.”

    Most Rev. W. Shawn McKnight
    Bishop of Jefferson City

  • “A book you will want to turn to again and again.”

    “Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers combines his own brand of enthusiasm and passion with insightful wisdom and practical advice in this book for those ordained to the diaconate as well as those considering the humbling and grace-filled call to be configured to Christ the Servant. Our Life of Service is a book you will want to turn to again and again.”

    Deacon Graham Galloway
    The Catholic Telegraph

  • “An important and thoughtful resource.”

    “As a deacon’s wife, I highly recommend this book, not only for those men on the diaconate journey but also for their spouses. Our Life of Service is an important and thoughtful resource.”

    Teresa Tomeo
    Catholic author, speaker, and syndicated talk show host

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