What is a deacon?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
What is a deacon, can he perform mass?
-- Mary Whitcher (email@example.com), December 06, 2002
Hello Mary, I am a deacon. In the Catholic Church there are three levels of ordained ministry - deacon, priest, and bishop. Deacons cannot perform Mass, hear confessions, or administer the sacrament of the sick. We can officiate at weddings and funerals, perform solemn baptisms (as distinct from emergency baptisms, which anyone can perform), read the gospel and preach the homily at Mass. Deacons also perform many other functions which are not specifically tied to Holy Orders, like parish, hospital, and prison ministries; marital and baptismal preparation; counseling of various kinds; visiting the sick; leading communion services; leading prayer services at wakes; etc. There are two categories of deacons - transitional deacons, who are on their way to becoming priests, and permanent deacons. Married men can become permanent deacons. However, once ordained, a deacon cannot marry.
-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), December 06, 2002.
Are you a permanent or temporary deacon?
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 06, 2002.
Permanent. Married 34 years.
-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), December 06, 2002.
Good to hear, and welcome to the forum.
-- (email@example.com), December 07, 2002.
Could you elaborate a little so as what does it takes to become a deacon?
Thanks in advance.
-- Xavier (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 09, 2002.
Welcome to the forum. It is wonderful to have an ordained man here to share the Catholic truth and the benefits of his personal experiences with us!
The Greenspun Catholic forum has been in existence since the beginning of 1998. But only rarely (and only for brief spans of time) have we had a member of the clergy visiting us here -- at least openly identifying himself as such. If you are a faithful, orthodox Catholic -- and your messages on several threads indicate that you are -- then I hope that you are able to stay with us for many years to come.
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God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (email@example.com), December 09, 2002.
Dear John, Thanks for the welcome, and for the links to help me find my way around.
Dear Xavier, Requirements for the deaconate program may vary a bit from one diocese to another, but I haven't come across any really major differences from my own experience. The deaconate is a four-year program, resulting in a masters degree in pastoral theology, and of course ordination. The first year is a year of discernment, during which men who are considering the deaconate, and their wives, meet together regularly, go on retreats, learn about the ministry and what it involves, and generally seek God's will. The last three years include formal studies, either at a seminary or at an approved college, as well as ongoing spiritual formation. The coursework is part time, primarily evenings, as most of the men involved also have full time jobs. An applicant must be between 35 and 65 years of age at the time of ordination, and be involved in parish or diocesan ministry. He can be married or single. If married, he must have the approval and support of his wife and family. Since it is a masters program, an applicant must hold a bachelors degree or equivalent. The degree can be in any subject area, but 30 credits in theology and/or philosophy are required. I had to go back to school on my own and pick up all my prerequisite credits since I was a straight science major in college, and had no credits at all in the required subject areas. Once you are in the program, the diocese pays 50% of tuition costs.
-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), December 09, 2002.
Thank you Paul !!!
I have seen and heard of many priest and bishops trying to encourage the youth for priesthood. Why dont they encourage these youth to be deacons, if not priest ? I am sure if they do so there would be many [if not all] who would go for it.
Isnt a deacon more preferable than those Catholics who dont contribute to any activity of the church ? I am sure the more deaons we have the more stronger the spiritual life of the church will be.
-- xavier (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 10, 2002.
I am in my first year conformation. I was wondering what is the role of a tempary decon?
-- Joanna Radcliffe (email@example.com), November 02, 2003.
Joanna, are you referring to a "transitional deacon," a man who is in his final year of seminary studies before being ordained to the priesthood?
-- (WakeForest@Demon.Deacons), November 02, 2003.