The deacon, configured to Christ the servant of all, is ordained for service to the Church. He carries out this service under the authority of his bishop by the ministry of the Word, of divine worship, of pastoral care and of charity. We’ve heard about the first deacons, especially St. Stephen, in the Mass readings this Easter season (see Acts 6:1-7).
Seminarians preparing for the priesthood are ordained to the diaconate prior to receiving priestly ordination. This is called the transitional diaconate. Mr. Sandoval, who has been studying at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, will become a transitional deacon. God willing, he will be ordained to the priesthood next year.
Since Vatican II (1962-65), the permanent diaconate has been restored. As the name suggests, this is a permanent office and not a stepping stone to the priesthood. Permanent deacons may be married or celibate. Just last month, the Archdiocese ordained 17 men from its first diaconate class.
Let’s thank God for this continued outpouring of vocations in our local Church!
For more on the diaconate, see Catechism, nos. 1569-71, or Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 330.