During the recent Knoxville Diocesan Priests’ retreat, we had the blessing to prayerfully reflect on the gift of the priesthood, as we prayed for all our priests on retreat with Bishop Stika, but also on the gift of the permanent Diaconate as we benefited from having our Communications Director, Deacon Scott Maentz, lead our Communion Services held in lieu of daily Mass. As a Community whose life and schedule revolve around the Eucharist, we naturally (and supernaturally) miss the daily Sacrifice of the Mass but remain nourished in the reception of Holy Communion.
This gift was brought home in a special way this time as Deacon Scott was also able to give Benediction. It is our custom to precede Mass each day with Benediction, a blessing we would have to normally forego in the absence of a priest. This was the first time we had the privilege of a Deacon giving Benediction. To receive the special blessing of Christ Himself at the hands of an ordained minister is something we treasure profoundly. In addition, Deacon Scott also provided a homily; an additional gift sharing the fruits of his study, preparation, and prayerful reflection.
Perhaps its not all that ironic that, as our IT specialist who communicates to the world for us, we call him our Communications Director – for he brings us Communion with Christ as well. Deo Gratias!