WHy become a deacon?

I’ve been thinking for a while about becoming a deacon in order to serve the God and church that I love more thoroughly. Is this a good enough reason? I cannot become a priest because I am married. What else does a deacon do besides help out during mass? I can’t quit my day job, I just want to be part of the historic church more so than I am now. ANy deacons out there that can tell me why they became deacons?

Thanks.

Hey!

I’m in the deaconate program in the ArchDiocese of Detroit ( just finshed my 1st year)

No, you don’t have to quit your day job, in fact, having a steady source of income was a requirement for acceptance into the program.

The Church recognized that you have to feed you family.

Yes, the deacon does have a ministry outside Mass. In fact, in many ways, that is the primary ministry of the deacon.

A deacon might be asked by his bishop to engage in ministry to the sick, the eldery or those in prison. There might be a call to parish ministry, assisting the pastor as he might need ( preparation of those seeking marriage, RCIA, baptism classes\baptisms)

It all depends on what skills and gifts you bring to the Church and what the current needs of the Church are.

As to why\how I discerned a vocation to the deaconate. I’m still not sure.

I had the thought in my head for awhile, it didn’t go anywhere though. I happened to find myself next to a Byzantine Catholic deacon at a Catholic men’s conference. I talked to him a lot. He was a wealth of information on a deacon’s life and it’s history (the Eastern Churches have pretty much always had an active married deaconate)

I started looking for info on the web and finally went to an informative session put on by the archdiocese. My wife and I talked about it and decided it was something I should pursue.

And I am.

In general, I’ve found I’m happier when I’m doing what God wants me to do, even if I’m not too sure exactly why. And the deaconate is certainly the case.

Feel free to PM me!

[quote=rubbersoul]I’ve been thinking for a while about becoming a deacon in order to serve the God and church that I love more thoroughly. Is this a good enough reason? I cannot become a priest because I am married. What else does a deacon do besides help out during mass? I can’t quit my day job, I just want to be part of the historic church more so than I am now. ANy deacons out there that can tell me why they became deacons?

Thanks.
[/quote]

Hi RubberSoul,

[font=Comic Sans MS]:hmmm: My experience has been it takes a lot of prayer and discernment and then more prayer and discernment.[/font]

[font=Comic Sans MS]After 15 years since my Ordination I still have to pray and discern my vocation.

[/font]It is not a matter of you choosing to become a deacon, but the Lord choosing you. It is His call not ours. We are just called to respond to wherever our Lord wants us. And if you are chosen to enter Formation that is not a guarantee you will be ordained. You won’t know that until the Bishop lays hands on you, I have seen many enter the Diaconate Formation who were never ordained because of various reasons.

For one, your wife has to support you taking that step. Without her approval you will not be accepted. There are many meeting to attend in the discernment process. You have to have the [size=2]recommendation of your pastor, recommendation from your place of employment and from others who know you. Your marriage will be closely evaluated and you and your wife will be interviewed by priest and deacons and their wives. You will be required to have a [size=2]physical examination, [size=2]psychological examination and more. [/size][/size][/size]

[size=2][size=2][size=2][/size][/size][/size]
[size=2][size=2][size=2]One of the things they will be looking for is experience and commitment to ministry. [/size][/size][/size][size=2][size=2][size=2]The Formation Period is 5 years and you must be at least 35 years old at the time of ordination.[/size][/size][/size]
[size=2][size=2][size=2][/size][/size][/size]
[size=2][size=2][size=2]What is important is not so much what Deacons do in their ministry but who they are. You can’t preach it if your not living it.[/size][/size][/size]

[size=2][size=2][size=2][/size][/size][/size]
[size=2][size=2][size=2]If I can be of further help let me know. :angel1: [/size][/size][/size]

I will pray for you an Brendan that the Lord’s will for you will be fulfilled.

Peace and Blessings,
Deacon Don Bourgeois
[size=2][size=2][size=2]St. Jane de Chantal Catholic Church[/size][/size][/size]
[size=2][size=2][size=2]Abita Springs, Louisiana
[/size][/size][/size]

Diaconia comes from the Greek word for “servant.”

Diaconate is about servant-ministry, that is serving the community through a special configuration to the servant Christ.

Those men that are always finding ways to help and serve others are the typical group from which God calls to this sacred order. Deacons tend to be “helper” types of men.

A vocation to the diacoante has two components:
[list=1]
*]The longing and drawing that you feel from God. AND
*]Confirmation of that call by the Catholic Church
[/list]If God is calling you to the diaconate, then you should pray and discuss the issue with your wife.

Entering diaconate formation is about making yourself docile to the Holy Spirit and the Church of Christ. If the Church perceives in you the gifts that the ministry requires, then she make call you to orders.

The formation program will help the Church and you discern the validity of the yearning that you feel. Just be open to whatever might come of it.

Even those men that the Church ultimately decides not to promote to sacred orders gain valuable knowledge, relationships and ministerial opportunities that are incredibly rewarding and will mold you into a better Catholic.

Feel free to email me if you want to discuss further.

In the service of Him who walked among us,
Chris

I thought when I was a kid (in the 1960s and 1970s) that a deacon was someone who was studying to be a priest–a seminarian who was one step from being a priest. Am I correct and the role of deacons has changed? Or has it always been the same, I just never understood it correctly?

[quote=La Chiara]I thought when I was a kid (in the 1960s and 1970s) that a deacon was someone who was studying to be a priest–a seminarian who was one step from being a priest. Am I correct and the role of deacons has changed? Or has it always been the same, I just never understood it correctly?
[/quote]

There are Transitional Deacons and Permanent Deacons. Transitional Deacons normally go on to be ordained priest and are unmarried men. Most Permanent Deacons are married men who are permanently a Deacon. Their ministry are the same. The Permanent Diaconate was restored 30 years ago.

:slight_smile: DigitalDeacon

It is true that unmarried men who become Deacons must remain unmarried, correct?

It is true that unmarried men who become Deacons must remain unmarried, correct?

That is correct.

Also, if a deacon is married at the time of his Ordination, and his wife should die before him, the deacon will then enter in a celibate state for the rest of his life.

Speaking from a deacon’s wife’s perspective…

I knew before he did that he had the vocation. He kept trying to deny it, but his joy comes from service to Christ. It’s true that your wife will need to approve, because it does take a lot of time away from the marriage. In our Archdiocese, married men must have been married a minimum of ten years to be accepted into the program.

The rewards are incredible. The deacon does a lot of the works of mercy. Funeral vigils/funerals, baptism prep/baptism, marriage prep/weddings, visiting the sick, the imprisoned, teaching RCIA.

My husband felt a calling to the priesthood in his early teens, but decided that he wanted children and marriage. We have talked about his life should I die first. He wants to be a priest, and I am ectstatic about that! I’ll get all those Masses said for me for free! :thumbsup:

rubbersoul

Historical in the church there were deacons before there were priests. That is a great calling. I would say follow your heart.

[quote=Brendan]That is correct.

Also, if a deacon is married at the time of his Ordination, and his wife should die before him, the deacon will then enter in a celibate state for the rest of his life.
[/quote]

Makes perfect sense to me. God Bless those who serve in this vital function.

We already have female deacons; they are called nuns.

Just came from Mass and heard my pastor speak on pursuing lifes vocations. He listed married life, single life, religious brothers and sisters, and his own priestly vocation. After mass, with my infant in my arms, I good naturedly suggested that his sermon confused my son because he didn’t list deacons as a true vocation. He stammered and said that my vocation is married life and anyways deacons are all lumped in their with religious brothers.

I smiled and let him off the hook but I had gently made my point that after 30 years many still don’t know who to deal with married deacons. Eyes wide open this vocation is loved and misunderstood at the same time by both priests and laity. I fully expect to serve in the shadows.

God Bless

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I really have a desire to learn more about the Church and the Faith, in a formal, academic way. But the nearby parishes don’t offer any adult education classes, and we don’t have any Catholic colleges or seminaries in this state. Someone suggested that I ask our deacons where they take their classes, as no one in my crowd seems to know for sure. Can someone speak to the education that deacons typically get, please.

I’ve also thought about the permanent diaconate a lot, and I think it’s great that you are giving this some prayer and reflection. Remember that you don’t need ordination to be “more” a part of the historic Church. My family going to Mass in Illinois is as much a part of the historic Church as the families in Acts of the Apostles who were first called “Christian.” We LIVE salvation history according to our state in life, in every time and place, until He comes again. Having said that, I see a wonderful future for permanent deacons, and if this is your call you will be very happy. It’s a huge commitment, and I’m in awe of those men who go through 5 years of formation and then take on ministry which could easily rival their “day jobs” in terms of time and commitment. If this sounds like you, God bless you for your generous service!

1 Like

[quote=Brendan]… if a deacon is married at the time of his Ordination, and his wife should die before him, the deacon will then enter in a celibate state for the rest of his life.
[/quote]

Can a deacon at this point also enter the priesthood?

If the wife of a deacon dies Rome expects the deacon to remain as a deacon and not become a priest.

Remember permanent deacon formation is not anything on par with transitional deacon formation. One prepares for priesthood and one prepares not for priesthood but for service. Those deacons preparing for priesthood spend years living celebate lives and studing on a level far beyond permanent deacons.

Considering the advanced age of most deacon widowers (late 50’s and 60’s) and the ongoing committments they have to their children it is doubtful that they would be suitable candidates for the priesthood formation.

I’m sure there are exceptions made by some bishops but normally widowed deacons do not become priests.

God Bless

[quote=Deacon2006]If the wife of a deacon dies Rome expects the deacon to remain as a deacon and not become a priest.

[/quote]

It’s not very common, but we had a guy who was ordained a permanent deacon about 5 years ago. His wife died, and now he is in formation at the seminary to enter the priesthood. So it isn’t unheard of.

Deacons also have the freedom to do ministry outside of the parish. Most priests do not have time to do prison ministry, visit nursing homes, etc.

[quote=Brendan]That is correct.

Also, if a deacon is married at the time of his Ordination, and his wife should die before him, the deacon will then enter in a celibate state for the rest of his life.
[/quote]

My wife would like to know that. :smiley: Actually, I have been discerning going through this process. I am supposed to talk with the vocations director for our diocese next month, so please pray for me, that God’s Will will be understood and followed.

Perhaps some of our interlocutors who already are deacons could write up some posts about the formation process–how long, what kind of classes, tuition costs, etc. As someone just in the conversion process, I am totally ignorant, but interested.

DaveBj

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