Vocation to the Permanent Diaconate

by Therese Ivers

The permanent diaconate was recently revived after centuries of disuse in the Catholic Church.  Those who are called to be permanent deacons have a somewhat unique vocation.   A permanent deacon may be either single or married.  He, like St. Stephen, is called to serve the Church in ways that assist the presbyters.

A permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Church may administer Baptism, witness marriages, give homilies, and conduct burial services.  Since he receives the sacrament of Holy Orders, he is not a layman, but a cleric.  As a cleric, he has the obligation to observe celibacy if he is unmarried, or the obligation to never remarry if he is married.

To become a permanent deacon, one should inquire at a diocesan vocations office.  Men who are married often must meet a certain minimum age established by the diocese.  A married man may not become a deacon without the consent of his wife.

Some permanent deacons have full-time ministry in the Church.  Others have full-time jobs in other fields.  Each permanent deacon lives out his commitment of ordained service to the Church in a manner suitable to his calling.

(c) 2008 by Therese Ivers and www.DoIHaveAVocation.com

All Rights Reserved

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