St. Jude ordains deacon
Additionally, they seek encouragement to face the trials and tribulations of the “work-a day week” ahead.
Recently parishioners of St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church had much more than usual to celebrate, as one of their members was ordained into the Permanent Diaconate of the Catholic Church.
Rodney Freed, instructor of communications at the University of Tennessee at Martin since 1997, and a member of St. Jude, was ordained into the Permanent Diaconate of the Memphis Diocese of the Catholic Church at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Memphis. Twenty-one other men were ordained as well.
Freed’s home parish celebrated the occasion with a special Mass and reception the following Sunday morning.
Freed is the son of Danny Freed and Judith Freed, both of Bernie, Missouri.
He and his wife, Stacy, a lecturer of communications at UT Martin, are the parents of one daughter, Ainsley.
Freed’s commitment to this responsibility came after prayerful consideration. “The call to become a deacon means being willing to share faithful support through service, God’s Word and charity among parishioners and the community at large,” according to the Rev. Terry Steib, Bishop of the Memphis Diocese.
Preparation for this important role included traveling to Memphis over a five-year period for classes, spiritual direction and retreats; most of which included the wives of the candidates, whose support is vital to this life-long commitment.
The role of the permanent deacon is important to many churches, the Catholic Church included, in that the deacon is pivotal in administering communion services, presiding at funeral services or other vital functions of the church when a priest is not accessible.
Freed’s service to his parish is an unselfish, truly time-tested commitment to God and community, one for which his parish is most grateful.wcp 5-13