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Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.

These are the words a newly ordained deacon hears from his bishop as the Book of the Gospels is placed in his hands. It is a solemn but joyous moment in which the deacon is called to a lifelong pursuit of the spiritual life.

The foundation of the diaconate is intimate communion with Christ the Servant. This communion originates and deepens in the interior life, and it is here, through prayer and meditation, where he truly discovers God on a personal level and, at the same time, discovers himself in a more profound way.

In Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate, Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, offers deacons and deacon candidates an integrated approach to diaconal life and ministry, rooted in the cultivation of the interior life. In this study, Deacon Dominic outlines the primacy of the interior life, the necessity of abandonment, the Servant Mysteries, and living the Servant Mysteries.

Entering into a new and more intimate relationship with Christ the Servant will open deacons and deacon candidates to their true identity, and their mission, as heralds of the Gospel of Christ.

Deacon Dominic Cerrato is the director of Diaconal Formation for the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois. He serves as executive director of Diaconal Ministries, a national ministry that ministers to permanent deacons and those they serve. Ordained a permanent deacon in 1995 for the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio, he earned a doctorate in theology from the Catholic Theological Foundation via Duquesne University in 2009; a master's in theology from Duquesne University; and a bachelor's in theology from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.

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