Call to be a Deacon?


I do not know much about them. What I do know is from a daughterinlaw who is Ukrainian Catholic.


The Orthodox and Catholic church was in communion for most of the first millennium, and consisted of multiple patriarchies.

There is a schism separating what we call the “Oriental Orthodox” who didn’t make it to Chalcedon on time and were condemned by that council which simply didn’t understand the language in their theology.

Then schism between the Eastern and Western parts of the church proceeded from the 11th to 14th century, and continues to this day.

There are some “Uniate” churches formed to take in Orthodox who wanted to enter communion with Rome, such as the Russian Catholics. There are a couple of churches that never left communion, such as the Italo/Greco/Albanian byzantines, almost in the shadow of Rome, and the Maronites, who simply lost communication for centuries due to Muslim invaders.

There are other Churches that never formerly broken communion with Rome but fell out on the eastern side of the split, such as the Ukrainian church, which reentered communion under the Treaty of Brest, including protections for things such as it’s married clergy, the original creed, and selection of its own bishops; the Ruthenians and others under similar terms with the Treaty of Many Spellings, err, Uzrod and similar; and the Melkites, church of the Patriarch of Antioch, which simply requested communion with Rome almost 200 years ago.

Many of these churches remain self-governing, but all are in communion with Rome. There are roughly two dozen, but there are some variations on how to count, and one (Gerogian?) is suspected to be extinct.

In the US, clergy from Eastern churches commonly also serve or assist in RCC parishes. We produce far more priests per capita, and have much smaller parishes, so it tends to work well for both for an RCC parish to pay an EC priest’s salary, taking him maybe 80% time, and the EC parish to put aside that money for its building fund.



Sounds more like a call to be an evangelist. A deacon’s work is pastoral, and outreach–visitations to the sick and homebound, ministry to the poor and needy, etc. And after posting this, I just saw Deacon Jeff’'s post, which is very thorough.
I notice your profile says you just became a Catholic this year? Have you completed RCiA?
But as everyone is telling you–talk to the diaconate formation folks.


No the can’t—married men can be ordained, but take a vow of celibacy at ordination.

Pretty much the same story as RCC deacons, although I understand that at least in some areas, waivers are routinely granted for deacons. I can probably count the number of EC and EO waivers for that in the last two centuries and still have fingers left on one hand! (they involved very young children in need of a mother)



I knew about the schism of 1054 A.D. but was unaware that they are now in communion with Rome. The Bishop of Rome basically wanted full power and authority over the Bishop in Constantinople, who denounced this causing the schism. I actually did a research paper on this in Seminary.

From what we where taught was that the Apostles ordained Bishops to govern the different regions and one had no authority over the other. This peace lasted 1000 years, till the Bishop in Rome flexed his muscles.


I grew up and was raised Catholic. Was Baptized and had my 1st Holy Communion. I didn’t go beyond that, but understand the faith in Christ in my youth. I thought RCIA was for those who know nothing of the CC.


The schism wasn’t taken all that seriously all that often until the failed Council of Florence, meant to resolve it but instead exacerbating it. Constantinople and Rome are still not in communion (although without the Russian Orthodox, +Benedict and +Bartholomew probably could have worked it out).

Oh, no; from very early, Metropolitans (arch-bishops) had some authority over their suffrage dioceses/eparchies, although it was mostly a chairman of the local synod of that same group, with some authority to act while waiting for the synod.

St. John Chrysotum is known, among other things, for a tour he took in which he (quite justifiably, but I’m not sure how legally) deposed many unfit bishops. I believe this was before he became Archbishop of Constantinople.

Communion was maintained and broken between the churches on a semi-regular basis, usually by the patriarchs of the various churches.

Check out the Eastern Catholic forum, but read several long threads before posting, or you will likely start the standard arguments :slight_smile:



Yes, an evangelist for sure. As a Evangelical/Pentecostal I led many people to pray the “Sinners Prayer”. Did street evangelism, prison ministry, lead worship music, went to homes to pray to cleanse out unclean spirits, etc… It was as all by the grace of God, not of my own strength.

Guess after a 10 year break, its time to get back to the work of God.


Great, thanks. I always only knew them as the Eastern Orthodox, or Greek Orthodox churches. That’s great news to hear we are all in communion.

Jesus said that a house divided against itself won’t stand. :slight_smile:


Not quite. The ones that use “Orthodox” in the name generally aren’t in communion with those called catholic–although the term “Orthodox in Communion With Rome” is sometimes used by Melkites and others. With a couple of exceptions, there are parallel EC and EO churches.



It might depend on when you left the Catholic Church. If you were very young, and never confirmed, and can produce your records, you might still be asked to do at least part of the RCIA course.

Have you been attending Mass? Have you met with your parish pastor yet to discuss your Sacramental preparation?

You have the “new convert” enthusiasm, which is great, but you might do better to just “be” a Catholic for a while, before pursuing the diaconate.


Yes, been attending mass and have been to confession to partake in the Eucharist again. Haven’t met our Priest yet till my wife is convinced this is the right thing.


I don’t mean talk to your pastor about the diaconate. If you’ve been away from the Church since childhood and only returned this year, pursuing the diaconate seems very premature.

Did you receive the Sacrament of Confirmation?


Were you and your wife married in a Catholic church?


Why not speak to your parish priest or the diocesan vocation director?


Thanks to all the responses. I’m good now and when its time will talk to my Priest if God wills.

In the meantime, I’ll continue my work as an Evangelist in preaching the “Good News”!:))


I’m sure it is satisfying.

I’ve just seen too many deacons taken for granted in various parishes.

The deacon at my parish certainly is.



Actually, they do not take a vow of celibacy at ordination. They DO promise not to remarry if their wife dies. But since the Catholic concept of marriage includes being open to having children, and as MANY married Eastern Rite Catholic priests (as well as those under Anglican usage, etc.) continue to have children, what you say is simply not the case.


It’s also a five year process to become a deacon, at least in California. Lots of study.


It’s also a 5-year process in my diocese (Syracuse).

One other thing: since training for the diaconate for a married man involves his wife extensively, I would assume that a man who is both a very recent convert with a wife who remains an Evangelical might have a lot of difficulty being accepted into a formation program.

To the OP: I would strongly recommend that you both devote the next few years to volunteer ministry (not only lectoring and perhaps being a Eucharistic Minister, but also working with the poor and disadvantaged). I would also recommend a LOT of reading about what Catholicism is all about. To be honest, several of your comments here suggest that you are not all that well informed about a lot of things. This is not surprising for someone who has only been a Catholic for a very short time, but it IS a problem for someone seeking holy orders. Fortunately, Catholic Answers has a lot of resources online, and is not a bad place to start. There are many other resources online, as well.

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