Diaconate


#1

I'm curious as to what inspires men, especially younger men, to become deacons. I know most deacons are older men but there was some late 30s early 40s deacon that randomly appeared at my parish and preached (preached for so long that I now understand why deacons normally do not give the homily :D) and did his deacon job. Leaving out marriage as a factor (even if virtually all American deacons are married), what is it that draws particularly younger men to the diaconate?


#2

God!!! :d


#3

[quote="AlexPetrosPio, post:2, topic:251112"]
God!!! :d

[/quote]

:D Touché.


#4

Yeah permanant deacons are married, single deacons are to be ordained as priests (not allowed to marry), so you can't really leave marriage out...

Explain why there are no deacons in Singapore lol

The vocation to the diaconate is an invitation from God to assist Bishop and priests.


#5

[quote="PLAT, post:4, topic:251112"]
Yeah permanant deacons are married, single deacons are to be ordained as priests (not allowed to marry), so you can't really leave marriage out...

Explain why there are no deacons in Singapore lol

The vocation to the diaconate is an invitation from God to assist Bishop and priests.

[/quote]

Permanent deacons can also be unmarried. I know a number who are. They did not want to be priests because they love their jobs or have other family obligations. They do make a promise of celibacy and cannot get married, but they don't often become priests. Transitional deacons become priests.


#6

[quote="MarcusAndreas, post:1, topic:251112"]
I'm curious as to what inspires men, especially younger men, to become deacons. I know most deacons are older men but there was some late 30s early 40s deacon that randomly appeared at my parish and preached (preached for so long that I now understand why deacons normally do not give the homily :D) and did his deacon job. Leaving out marriage as a factor (even if virtually all American deacons are married), what is it that draws particularly younger men to the diaconate?

[/quote]

I love this question, it has come up here many times and occassionally good discussion comes from it. However, many times it is all about telling a man like me that I made a mistake or I took this road because I wanted my cake and eat it too, that is, marriage and ordination.

Many forget that this is a calling. What draws me to His Church as a servant, is He Himself, God. I believe and I know through years of discernment that He has called me to this ministry just as I know He brought my wife and I together.

I guess I am one of the "young guys". I started formation at 40 with two boys, 13 and 10. I was ordainded at 45 with two boys, 18 and 15, and an adopted daughter of 16.

Ordination was in December of '10. The entire journey has been a blessing to my entire family and my church parish. I am the first PD from my home town parish. I thank God everyday for calling me to my wife first, then to the screment of holy orders.:thumbsup:


#7

[quote="Joannm, post:5, topic:251112"]
Permanent deacons can also be unmarried. I know a number who are. They did not want to be priests because they love their jobs or have other family obligations. They do make a promise of celibacy and cannot get married, but they don't often become priests. Transitional deacons become priests.

[/quote]

My class was 9 men, one was a widower. He has stated that he feels called to the diaconate, not the priesthood. I guess that's why there is no "shortcut" for lack of a better word, for a widowed PD to become a priest. This does happen, but there is no shortcut.


#8

[quote="Lapey, post:6, topic:251112"]
I love this question, it has come up here many times and occassionally good discussion comes from it. However, many times it is all about telling a man like me that I made a mistake or I took this road because I wanted my cake and eat it too, that is, marriage and ordination.

Many forget that this is a calling. What draws me to His Church as a servant, is He Himself, God. I believe and I know through years of discernment that He has called me to this ministry just as I know He brought my wife and I together.

I guess I am one of the "young guys". I started formation at 40 with two boys, 13 and 10. I was ordainded at 45 with two boys, 18 and 15, and an adopted daughter of 16.

Ordination was in December of '10. The entire journey has been a blessing to my entire family and my church parish. I am the first PD from my home town parish. I thank God everyday for calling me to my wife first, then to the screment of holy orders.:thumbsup:

[/quote]

This is well stated. I am entering Candidacy this year. I have heard, "Why would you ever want to do that?" To someone telling me, "You know, I (not me, them) am practically a deacon already" (as if it happens after a three hour seminar).

There is a fair amount of ignorance surrounding the calling of a man to serve God in this way. For me it is a great honor and a privilege to be on this path and I pray that, in humility I may be a good servant. I am not pursuing the Diaconate to please or impress anyone. I just want to place myself at God's disposal to do with me whatever he wishes.

This takes constant formation and discernment, not only by me, but by the Church, as well.

So, to sum up, men become deacons to serve God and neighbor. They do so because they are trying to make a difference, to bring the Kingdom of God to those who are suffering or in pain. Is it easy to become a deacon, heck no. I am 54 years old and I need to get a Master's degree. I spend one weekend a month at the seminary. It takes five years. Oh,but, what a joy!

Deacon Lapey, I think you know what I mean. May God richly bless your ministry. You are in my prayers...


#9

Can a PD at a later time be allowed to enter seminary if he felt called to the priesthood? Would a bishop allow it? just curious Scoob


#10

[quote="scoobydoo6v92, post:9, topic:251112"]
Can a PD at a later time be allowed to enter seminary if he felt called to the priesthood? Would a bishop allow it? just curious Scoob

[/quote]

It's possible, but not encouraged because the diaconate is seen a separate and distinct vocation from the priesthood.


#11

I see. So most likely if you are called to be a PD it is the call and priesthood is not ever going to be your calling, if called to PD. Thanks Scoob.


#12

[quote="scoobydoo6v92, post:11, topic:251112"]
I see. So most likely if you are called to be a PD it is the call and priesthood is not ever going to be your calling, if called to PD. Thanks Scoob.

[/quote]

Not nessesarily, each case usually is and should be looked at individually. We have a PD who was widdowed a couple of years ago from Florida who our bishop agree to send to seminary to work towards becomeing a priest. So it can and does happen. This guy was a seminarian before he left formation to be married, so in a sinse he can show that the calling to the priesthood was always there. That would not apply to my case. Does that make sense?


#13

Like others had said, God has led me to choose the Diaconate as a vocation. I have spoken to our parish priest and Deacon and they both believe that with the current involvement I have in the church (EM, Lector, RCIA, Life Teen, Knights, etc.) would serve as a good base to enter the diaconate. Today I got off the phone with the lay person in charge of the Diaconate program and she said I have to be 33 by the start of the candidacy. Of course I am 29 now and the applications start next year, which will make me 30. I would have finished the program by the time I was 34. This was unfortunate to hear because its hard for me to have God tell me that the diaconate is what I should be doing, But now I have to wait until 2015. Any advice?


#14

How does one know? My Pastor said, 'you would make a great deacon'. Only schooling is his concern. I have little formal education. I dropped out of school in the 9th grade. Since I have earned a G.E.D. and am now studying for a B.A. in business management. What schooling is required? And is what I feel a calling?
I love everything about the Mass, I love volunteering to teach CCD and RCIA and help in any way I can. I usher and am a EMHC along with CCD RCIA. I get so much joy out of teaching others about our faith.... I even write homilies for my Pastor to critique and I enjoy our conversations in regard to the meaning of the readings.
I enjoy this and have learned much about the Gospels. And by his advice I have begun to pray the liturgy of the hours. So awesome and beautiful.
For this some say I am called but I am not sure. I just feel this desire to do, more. But I do not know what, more there is.
I guess I will just keep searching,


#15

Greetings! I am at the start of my journey to become a PD as well. I have been accepted into our formation program and we start our first formal class this month..

What brought me to this? All I can say is that is started around 6 years ago with a feeling of wanting to serve a cause that is larger than myelf or my family. I wanted to make a difference to people. I wasn't sure how I would do that. In fact, for about a year, I thought it would be through military service. Unfortunately, I was right at the upper age limit for being accepted by the military (35) and in the end, it didn't matter. After I went through my entrance physical, etc. I was told that I was medically disqualified for military service.

The Lord then led me to a lay ministry program in my diocese and after two years of classes through that, I had come to the conclusion that my path lay not with the military, but with the Church. How better than to serve God's people!

I am blown away that the time has finally come and that the bishop chose me and 39 other men to start the program in our diocese. I'm still not sure if all will turn out OK in the end, only God knows that, but I am reminded of how Jesus called his disciples. Were they perfect? No. Am I perfect? Far from it.

But I feel He is calling me and I hear his knock on the door. It is now my turn to get up and open the door to let Him in...that's the best way I can explain it.

btw, I have just turned 43 years old so I am one of those relative "young" ones.

Did you know that the average age of deacons in the US is 62? And the average age of deacons in the rest of the world is 42?


#16

[quote="jscofield, post:13, topic:251112"]
Like others had said, God has led me to choose the Diaconate as a vocation. I have spoken to our parish priest and Deacon and they both believe that with the current involvement I have in the church (EM, Lector, RCIA, Life Teen, Knights, etc.) would serve as a good base to enter the diaconate. Today I got off the phone with the lay person in charge of the Diaconate program and she said I have to be 33 by the start of the candidacy. Of course I am 29 now and the applications start next year, which will make me 30. I would have finished the program by the time I was 34. This was unfortunate to hear because its hard for me to have God tell me that the diaconate is what I should be doing, But now I have to wait until 2015. Any advice?

[/quote]

What may seem as unfortunate to us sometimes is for the best of all involved. I wanted to join formation in '02, then '04. Both times it didn't work out, but in '06 I was able to enter and the rest is history. Remember that the Church also must hear the calling for you. The guidelines which are set up for the US Church is 35 at ordination for the PD. This is a good age I believe. If the Lord is truly calling you to the diaconate, listen to Him and hear His voice in the Church, even if this is news we don't particularly like.

I know I didn't like the times my wife vetoed my plans. But I do believe the time I entered formation was the right time, not the time I wanted.


#17

Charybdis.. Congrats on your acceptance to the PD program. I will say a special prayer for you at adoration tonight...Go with God as he will never lead you down the wrong road. Good luck to you.


#18

[quote="Lapey, post:16, topic:251112"]
What may seem as unfortunate to us sometimes is for the best of all involved. I wanted to join formation in '02, then '04. Both times it didn't work out, but in '06 I was able to enter and the rest is history. Remember that the Church also must hear the calling for you. The guidelines which are set up for the US Church is 35 at ordination for the PD. This is a good age I believe. If the Lord is truly calling you to the diaconate, listen to Him and hear His voice in the Church, even if this is news we don't particularly like.

I know I didn't like the times my wife vetoed my plans. But I do believe the time I entered formation was the right time, not the time I wanted.

[/quote]

Deacon Lapey, Thank you for the words of encouragement. When God feels I am ready, I will be there to answer his call.


#19

[quote="PLAT, post:4, topic:251112"]
Yeah permanant deacons are married, single deacons are to be ordained as priests (not allowed to marry), so you can't really leave marriage out...

Explain why there are no deacons in Singapore lol

The vocation to the diaconate is an invitation from God to assist Bishop and priests.

[/quote]

Just to clarify, if a single man becomes a deacon, does he take an oath that he will not marry? Even if he doesn't go on to the priesthood?


#20

[quote="SeekNFind, post:19, topic:251112"]
Just to clarify, if a single man becomes a deacon, does he take an oath that he will not marry? Even if he doesn't go on to the priesthood?

[/quote]

That is correct. In certain circumstances a man can apply for dispensation by the Holy See to be remarried. This is not the norm and doesn't happen often.

In the secular clergy, it wouldn't be an oath, it would be a promise to the ordaining bishop and his succesors. I made a promise of conditional celibacy when ordained; if my wife were to pass, I could not remarry.


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