In a historic development, Joice James, a father of four has been conferred with permanent diaconate by Card. Alencherry, of the Syro-Malabar Church at a ceremony held on June 6.
Though the Church has conferred deacon status on laymen in the past, it is for the first time that a permanent diaconate is being conferred on a married man after the Syro-Malabar Church became an independent Church.
Deacon Joice belongs to the St George Parish at Muthalakkulam under the Kothamangalam diocese. His wife Jibi and children were present at the function. Joice had been working in the education sector in London for the last 15 years.
Joice had pursued a total of five years of seminary study in India and London. He will serve in the Ujjain diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church.
A person who is made deacon can perform services except certain sacraments. (UCAN)