About 90 percent of permanent deacons are married. The word deacon derives from the Greek diakonia, meaning "service," thereby indicating that a deacon is called like Christ to be a servant. Historians say it was due to a number of issues, including tension between the duties of the priest and those of the deacon. The Archdiocese of Seattle welcomes 21 new permanent deacons today. -- National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States, par. Given this foundation, the Order of Deacon is understood as follows: A man who is ordained as a deacon receives the Sacrament of Holy Orders. The special benefit of the permanent diaconate has been in those areas of the Church where a shortage of priests exists. The diaconate is conferred on seminarians continuing to the priesthood no sooner than 23 years of age (canon 1031 of the Code of Canon Law). Presently, about 23,000 men serve as permanent deacons, with about 15,000 living in the United States. National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States Kindle Edition by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) (Author) Format: Kindle Edition. What is the difference? The Guidelines for Deacons in the Diocese of Columbus. Individual diocesan bishops may make exceptions and establish their own norms for deacons in their diocese. Several similarities and differences exist between transitional and permanent deacons. Unlike transitional deacons who are obliged to fulfill the liturgy of the hours daily, permanent deacons in the United States are bound to offer morning and evening prayer only. Permanent deacons as such could assist bishops, especially in missionary areas where a shortage of clergy existed. In my parish, we have a permanent deacon and also a deacon who will be ordained a priest. In the final analysis, however, permanent deacons should be understood not in terms of what they do but who they are - servants. However, unlike transitional deacons, permanent deacons normally do not wear regular clerical attire. From that time, the Order of Deacon seems well established in the early Church: St. Paul in his "First Letter to St. Timothy" wrote, "In the same way, deacons must be serious, straightforward, and truthful. To this end, the Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity proposed, "Wherever it appears opportune to episcopal conferences, the diaconate should be restored as a permanent state of life, in accordance with the norms of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. The National Directory “is an important point of reference for those Churches in which the permanent diaconate is a living and active reality.” It contains the guidelines and directives to be used when preparing or updating a permanent diaconate program and formulating policies for the ministry and … According to Canon 1031.2 and the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States, the minimum age for ordination to the permanent diaconate is 35 for all candidates. The researchers believe that the same can be done here in our country. The diaconate became like an internship, whereby a man was ordained as a deacon and made the promise of celibacy, and then continued final studies for the priesthood and served in a parish for practical experience until the time of Ordination to the Priesthood. (Confer the Catechsim, No. This volume also includes Basic Standards for Readiness for the formation of permanent deacons in the United States from the Bishops’ Committee on the Diaconate and the committee document Visit of Consultation Teams to Diocesan Permanent Diaconate Formation Programs. The Order of Deacon, therefore, is part of the hierarchy of the Church and an integral part of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Many dioceses have opted to give greater visibility to the diaconate by permitting their deacons to wear clerical attire while functioning in their ministry. This is a random sample telephone poll of 804 permanent deacons conducted in February 2001. In all, all deacons should heed the words of St. Polycarp: "Let them be merciful, and zealous, and let them walk according to the truth of the Lord, who became the servant of all" (Letter to the Philippians). They should also dedicate themselves to other charitable works, particularly within the parish community. Bishops' Committee on the Permanent Diaconate.] Transitional deacons make the promise of celibacy at the time of their ordination. However, the discipline of celibacy would be retained and taken for a single man when ordained as a permanent deacon or accepted by the married permanent deacon upon the death of his spouse. The National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States “is an important point of reference for those Churches in which the permanent diaconate is a living and active reality.” It contains the guidelines and directives to be used when preparing or updating a diaconate program and formulating policies for the ministry and life of deacons. He is dean of the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. Look around among your own number, brothers, for seven men acknowledged to be deeply spiritual and prudent, and we shall appoint them to this task. National Conference of Catholic Bishops. 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