Deacons as the Image of Jesus Christ
The Diaconate in the Byzantine East has its origins in the pre-Nicene and apostolic periods. It was during these periods that the essential paradigm of the Diaconal ministry of the present-day Constantinopolitan tradition was developed. In this pre-conciliar period, the theology, spirituality and functions of the Diaconate were formulated. In the early second century, Saint Ignatius of Antioch, the great Church Father, explicitly presented a typology of the hierarchical ministries of his own day: Bishops as the image of God the Father, presbyters as the image of the council of the apostles, and deacons as the image of Jesus Christ. This paradigm of St. Ignatius is still influential in the Eastern Churches today.
In 1999 the restored Order of the Diaconate as a permanent order in the Church was inaugurated in the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. The Diaconate Formation program is based at the Seminary of Saints Cyril and Methodius and it is open to both married and single men. In the life of the Metropolitan Church, Deacons represent a great and visible sign of the working of the Holy Spirit through their life of service in the Church. Deacons enhance liturgical services and provide additional ministry such as visiting the sick and elderly, assisting in sacramental preparation and assisting in other parish ministries.
Interested candidates should contact their local vocation director: http://www.bcs.edu/meet-the-vocation-directors/.
The mission of the Archeparchial Office of Religious Education is to provide on-going formation and enrichment to those who feel called to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. Workshops and seminars are provided to help individuals as they pursue a ministry within the church.
A two hour graduate course in Catechetics is offered at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary for those who wish to improve their work as teachers. Pope Francis recently said at an International Congress on Catechists, “A Catechist is a Christian who is mindful of God, who is guided by the memory of God in his or her entire life and who is able to awaken that memory in the hearts of others.”
You are invited to take advantage of the Religious Education programs of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh whose offices are at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary.
Sr. Marion Dobos, OSB
Archeparchial Office of Religious Education
Byzantine Catholic Seminary
3605 Perrysville Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15214
Mr. Jeffrey Mierzejewski, Director
Congregational singing of liturgical services is a hallmark of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church. The Metropolitan Cantor Institute, based in the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Saints Cyril and Methodius, trains men and women to serve as parish cantors and prepares both musical editions and instructional material. Its primary goal is that each parish in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh has a cantor who is familiar with all services and qualified to lead the singing of the congregation to the glory of God and in support of the church’s prayer.
The institute was formed in 1997, and began a regular multi-year cycle of Saturday courses in 2001. Courses were expanded in 2010 to include education for church readers and workshops on such topics as chant harmonization. More recently, the Cantor Institute program is being extensively revised to reflect explicit standards for cantor certification, make better use of distance education and local mentoring, and provide coordinated cantor education with the other three Eparchies of the Byzantine Catholic Church in Passaic, New Jersey; Parma, Ohio; and Phoenix, Arizona.
Cantor Institute staff is also involved in preliminary work on a history of church music and its pedagogy, and in a cooperative effort with the Office of Religious Education, to foster education in liturgical music for both the adults and youth of the Byzantine Catholic Church.