Becoming a Deacon after Addiction?

I am starting to look into becoming a permanent Deacon. I have been in Recovery from Addiction for over 18 years and do not use any chemicals including alcohol. I know that either species of the eucharist is considered whole, the body (bread) or blood (wine), and that it is not necessary to take both when receiving communion. I do not take the wine for obvious reasons. I believe that I am being called.

My question is: Can this keep me from becoming a Deacon?

God bless you on your call. With your experiences and recovery, you have a lot to share and could be a big help to others with the same problems. I believe that as deacon, you are an assistant to the priest and there are accommodations even for priests that can’t have alcohol. Check with your diocese program and again God bless you.

No, I personally know of 3 Deacons that were alcoholics and admitted to being so.

I imagine those being considered are like any vocation well scrutinized but I can’t off hand see someone who has lived a sober life consistantly being rejected from this particular Vocation, also if you haven’t done so yet finding a local Deacon should help ease your mind on the matter.

Thank you for your answers and support. I was surprised to realize how much this has been weighing on my mind and felt a whole lot of relief when I read your responses.

I failed to mention in my original post that I have an appointment set up for this weekend to meet with one of our Priests at which point I will ask his advice for how to proceed.

Congratulations on your recovery! I have been clean and in recovery for the past 21 yrs, and I am also discerning a vocation.

As long as you are stable in your recovery, which usually means at least 5 yrs clean and active in a 12-Step program of recovery, most vocation directors don’t have a problem.

My parish priest knows my entire history plus the fact I am in long-term stable recovery in a 12-step fellowship. Thank God my priest is also 12-Step savvy himself and is my sporitual director!

While a past addition should be disclosed, 18 years in recovery is a great testimony to your resolve to live a clean and sober life and may even be considered an asset in the Church, where so many struggle with various forms of substance abuse and other addictions. By all means contact your diocese’s director of the permanent diaconate if you feel called.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit