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
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