After five years as a deacon with a civilian profession, the church congregations of heroldsbach, hausen, wimmelbach, oesdorf and poppendorf bid farewell to andreas eberhorn. From now on, the family father will be active as a full-time deacon in the southern part of the pastoral area of neubau, with its headquarters in neunkirchen. He is one of seven men who hold this office in the archdiocese.
"We say goodbye", pastor klaus weigand began the service of farewell. But eberhorn will remain in the hirtenbachtal as a resident and as a "person who believes in the awakening of the church".
Deacon andreas eberhorn was always there for the community
Eberhorn has moved a lot: gundula carlheim from st parish council. Michael heroldsbach gave an example of the retreats in everyday life, which the deacon initiated and which immediately met with a great response. Eberhorn has taken up concerns and issues to give support and hold to others, she said. Andreas lang from the parish of st. Wolfgang hausen emphasized the "life-oriented manner" of the deacon of the deacon.
In an interview, andreas eberhorn explained the new tasks he will now face and how he is looking forward to them. Mr. Eberhorn, you are one of seven family fathers who have chosen this path and are now working full time in an office with consecration. What tasks have you had so far and what is new??
Andreas eberhorn: my field of activity as a deacon with a civilian profession was mainly influenced by my available free time, which was made possible by my family and my main job at siemens. And I fill this free time with what god has commissioned me to do: to accompany and support our fellow human beings, for example, in pastoral counseling during life crises, in the administration of the sacraments and liturgy, in everyday retreats and lectures on questions of faith. And in the sharing of what constitutes my life of faith and what is the source for me. With the change to a full-time job, which I am very much looking forward to, my tasks will not change, but only expand, since I am now 100 percent available for our parish and our people. Additional tasks are among other things the first communion preparation in the southern part of our SSB new building. Also the offer of spiritual accompaniment.
How do your tasks differ from those of a parish or pastoral officer??
Thank god, we only differ in one aspect of our tasks: the administration of sacraments such as baptism and the sacrament of matrimony. What makes up our joint work as community ministers, pastoral ministers and deacons is the diversity of our talents. To bring this into our communities in a thoughtful and positive way must be our goal and our aspiration. It’s like a rainbow that has many colors and thus touches every facet of our lives. We are all a part of our church.
Do you see the increased use of deacons as a chance to provide pastoral care for the faithful in times of acute priest shortages??
Of course, deacons are an important part of pastoral care, especially in times of priest shortage, and I would wish that there are more women and men who feel called to this path. But I would not limit the pastoral care of our fellow men to deacons alone. There are so many people in our society who act as pastors without being aware of it. I often notice this in conversations and encounters with women and men from our community and at the same time encourage them to be more aware of their good work themselves and not to let up. Only in good and open cooperation can the community grow and shape its future.