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Number of permanent deacons grows, but many reaching retirement age


13hp0415(CNS) — While the number of permanent deacons keeps growing, those ordained to the permanent diaconate are steadily reaching retirement age, with a need to replenish their ranks, according to a study released Aug. 6 on the diaconate.

There are more than 18,000 permanent deacons in the United States, including more than 15,000 who are active in ministry, according to the study conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. [more]





  1. truth says:

    The permanent diaconate was the statement of Post Vatican II in the 60ties. The Church in the USA
    through Archbishop John Ireland who would not grant faculties to Fr. Alexis Toth, now St. Alexis Toth in the OCA because he was a widowed priest. This action of Archbishop Ireland took 39,000 faithful Byzantine Catholics into Orthodoxy. 1929 saw the Vatican Imposed Celibacy upon Eastern Rite Catholic Priests in the USA only because the American Hierarchy felt the married priest was a scandal to the American Church. I beg the question in 2013 What is the Greater Scandal the Married Priest or the Active Practicing Homosexual Priest??
    The Permanent Diaconate did not bring the necessary results. I believe if the Church would allow the Option Married vs Celibate Priests and the Bishop must always be celibate or widowed we would see a deeper spirituality in the Church.
    Look at the Ukrainian Married Priests in 2013 in the USA serving the church. These churches would have been closed like many Roman Churches, but the median age of the Ukrainian Catholic Priest is 38 vs 68 in the Roman Catholic Church. The wives of these priests are great for the parishioners and their husbands and children which also bring many vocations to the church. The Western Lung of the Church could learn much from the Eastern Lung of the Church and bring about the greatest reunionof Catholic and Orthodox.
    The US Bishops through Archbishop Ireland and the 1930 Bishop Orestes Chornock establishment of the Carpatho Russian Orthodox Church brought over 60,000 former Eastern Rite Catholics into Orthodoxy. Pray

  2. Tony says:

    I almost forgot St Stephen the first martyr, whose feast is December 26, was a deacon and one of the Patron saints.

  3. Tony says:

    Coincidentally the church celebrates the celebration of the Patron of Deacons on Saturday August 10, the feast of St Lawrence.
    Francis of Assisi was a permanent deacon and serves as a model of humble service to all as exemplified by the Pope.
    May we all encourage our deacons to be the humble servants they are called to be.

  4. Tony says:

    The permanent diaconate is a gift of Vatican II to the church. The deacon, one who serves, can do immeasurable good in his role as husband, father and Christian in the world.
    He is one set aside by ordination to
    be a model to all of Christ the servant. His challenge is to balance his service and attention tand keep his family first, his job second and then his service as a deacon third.
    While he is seen in his liturgical role as the Proclaimer of the the Gospel he is challenged to really live what he reads by his service to the community. He is an ordinary minister is the Eucharist, he baptizes, and witnesses marriages, and accompanies families in the burial of the dead. He.preaces at mass, blesses in the name of the church, and teaches. And while doing all of this he is supported by his wife and family who often share and assist in his ministry. Very often his wife is besies him all through his diaconal education.
    A challenge for the deacon is not to get caught up in clericalism and to lord it over people. To remember he is not a mini priest and yet still a clergyman. His role is not to take the place of the laity but rather to encourage the laity to fuller participation in service to Christ and one another.
    The wives of the deacon are great women who accompany their husband in his role of deacon. The deacon and his wife can serve as a model for married clergy in. the Church.
    The diaconate is as old as the Acts of the Apostles when it was instituted, and as new as its renewal since Vatican II. Every priest, bishop and Pope is first a deacon, a servant to all.


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