About 2 1/2 years ago I started to get deep into my faith. About 6 months later I felt I had a calling and started to discern whether I wanted to become a deacon. I did a lot of research, read the National Directory for the Formation of Permanent Deacons, called the seminary to speak to the dean, got the application, talked to a priest friend of mine for a letter of recommendation, talked to a deacon at our parish.

Next I contacted my pastor. He told me to call back in 2 weeks. Contacted him 2 more times, he said he would call me back and never did. So I cornered him in the church one day and asked if I could set up a meeting. I wasn’t going to leave without it. He gave me several excuses and finally admitted that he was not interested. I was speachless, frustrated, and angry that he would not even sit down with me and talk about it. I tried to think of million reasons on why he would do that and decided that it is pointless, I cannot read his mind.

I was determined, so I went to another parish for about 6 months, became comfortable, and got the approval from the pastor there for sponsorship. I quickly learned that part of my upcoming duties would be literally to go door to door and solicit money from the parishoners. There seemed to be an obsession with money there and I felt it was not how I wanted to serve the Lord. So I thought this must be God telling me it is not my calling. I ended up quietly going back to my original parish.

Fast forward to the present. In the past 2 months, 4 people have asked me if I have considered joining the seminary. Two of them are priests. This past Sunday I met a priest for the first time and as I was leaving mass told him he had a nice church. Out of nowhere, he asked to speak to me for 10-15 minutes. We sat down and he then said he could see the Holy Spirit in me and asked if I had considered becoming a priest. I told him I was married. He then discussed the deaconate among other things with me. I told him “I will do as the Lord wishes”.

I suppose I am looking for advice. I have pretty much given up on the deaconate because it is impossible for me to do it without the permission of the pastor. I am also tired of people asking me if I am interested in a vocation. I want to do what the Lord wants me to do.

Have you tried talking to the bishop and explaining your situation?

Also, you say you are married. Have you read the following article?

The canon lawyer says that, normatively, a deacon is required to give up sex, even if he’s married. Would you be willing to do that?

I haven’t heard that one… I know if you are unmarried when you become a deacon you must remain celibate and if you become a widower then you also must remain unmarried but not the abstaining part.

Come to think of it I don’t believe so because during lent Deacons are asked to abstain…

Perhaps someone can correct me.

Permanent Deacons can be married, have kids, raise a family & work. But they must be married BEFORE becoming Permanent Deacons. They are not permitted to marry AFTER they are ordained to the Permanent Diaconate. However, Transitional Deacons (those who will be moving on to be ordained to the Priesthood) cannot be married before nor can they marry once they are Transitional Deacons. So, yes, you can be married if
you wish to become a Permanent Deacon.

I have not considered talking to the Bishop. I will think about that.

I read the article. I think there are flaws in the logic and seems to be one man’s interpretation rather than the teachings of the Magisterium. I have not seen his ideas in any of my studies. In fact I have seen the opposite. I promised to have sex with my wife or I could not enter into the sacrament of marriage. A marriage is invalid if both parties are not open to having children. Anyway, the particular requirements vs. whether or not I am an acceptable candidate is something to be discussed during the interview process.

There is no rule for deacons to give up sex. I am married to a deacon and I have also taught in diaconate formation. I know many deacons in our diocese. No where is there a rule to give up sex, even during Lent, before Mass, on fast days, etc. It just isn’t there. I don’t know too many men who would have become deacons if that was the law. If married priests don’t have to give up sex why would deacons?

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