The Permanent Diaconate

The Permanent Diaconate, re-established by the Second Vatican Council as an integral part of Church life and mission, provides a unique opportunity for men, married or single, to serve Church and community. The Permanent Deacon is a fully ordained minister of the Church, in the same way as is a Bishop and Priest. Unless retired, the Deacon will usually maintain secular employment in order to support his family. He is both a minister and servant, distinguished from the lay person by his ordination and the fact that he functions officially in the name of Christ in the community.

The Deacon's ministry is a diocesan one and he is called to serve in any parish or environment as deemed necessary by the Archbishop. He is called to a three-fold ministry of liturgy, word and service, with service being the Deacon's most characteristic ministry. Within his liturgical role the Deacon may assist Bishop and Priest during the liturgy, distribute communion, administer baptism, witness and bless marriages, officiate at wakes, funerals and burial services. As minister of the word he proclaims the Gospel at Mass, and may preach the homily, as well as teach. These two ministries validate and strengthen his primary ministry of service to the community as he works with the young, the aged, the divorced, the sick in hospitals and homes, the poor, the rejected, immigrants, prisoners, addicts, in college campuses, schools or with families.

If you have a feeling that you are being called by God to minister in these ways; if you enjoy helping others, are a team player who enhances the qualities of the people in your group; if you are accommodating, know how to relate to others, like people, give high priority to family values, and are sensitive to the feelings of others, you may want to look into the Permanent Diaconate.

In accordance with Vatican norms and directions, the Archdiocese of Ottawa began training men to become Deacons in 1976. At the present time there are 51 Deacons active in the Archdiocese. They, and in many cases, their wives with them, are involved in the many and varied ministries mentioned above. See for more information. The current number of Deacons does not meet the need experienced by the Archdiocese. In order to address this inequity, The Permanent Diaconate Formation Program recently re-organized its 4 year training cycle to accommodate entry to the program in September of each year. Applications to the Program are to be submitted between January 31 and Mar 31 in order to be ready for September. Applicants will be screened and evaluated during the following months and all will be advised of the disposition of their applications in early July. Those who may be interested in the program are invited, with their spouses, to attend an information session usually scheduled for the last Saturday of January in the Conference Room at the Diocesan Centre, 1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa. Exact timings may change from year to year and any such changes will be well advertised through appropriate channels.

For more information, contact Deacon Rick McLellan, Coordinator Permanent Diaconate Ministries and Formation Program Administrative Coordinator or Deacon Carl Kazmierski, Formation Program Academic Coordinator.

Phone: (613) 738-5025(ext:228)

Phone: (613) 824-7469

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