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Permanent deacon FAQ

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Who is a deacon?
There are three groups, or “orders,” of ordained ministers in the Catholic church: bishops, priests, and deacons. Deacons are ordained as a sacramental sign to the church and to the world of Christ, who came “to serve and not to be served.”

 What do deacons do?
As ministers of Word, deacons proclaim the Gospel, preach, and teach. As ministers of Sacrament, deacons baptize, lead the faithful in prayer, witness marriages, and conduct wake and funeral services. As ministers of Charity, deacons marshal the church’s resources to meet those needs.

Are deacons paid?
No. The permanent diaconate, from formation to retirement, is entirely voluntary and without remuneration.

Do some deacons become priests?
For centuries; ordained ministers “ascended” from one office to another, culminating in ordination to the priesthood, and the diaconate was one of those temporary offices. The Second Vatican Council authorized the restoration of the diaconate as a permanent order of ministry.

So, while men in formation for the priesthood are still ordained as transitional deacons, other men are now formed as permanent deacons. More than 18,000 men in the United States alone minister in this order.

May married men be deacons?
Yes. The Second Vatican Council decreed that the restored permanent diaconate could be opened to “mature married men” (now defined as men over 35). 

In keeping with the ancient tradition of the church, while a married man may be ordained a deacon, he may not remarry if his wife dies. 

How do I  become a deacon?

The best place to start is with your pastor, who can put you in touch with Deacon Mark Machuga, Director of the Permanent Diaconate Office. Call him at (513) 321-3131, ext. 2641; or send an email to deaconoffice@catholiccincinnati.org.  

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