Today, at St. Peter in Chains, ten men will be ordained as Transitional Deacons for service to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Toledo.
I recently was asked the question as to if all priests were first ordained deacons, to which I gave a strong affirmative!
First, the Diaconate is about service. The deacon assists the priest (or bishop) at Mass, proclaiming the Gospel and preparing the gifts at the altar are his primary duties. He also leads the Prayers of the Faithful (Intercessions). All of these roles show that he is to be a man in and among the people; bringing the needs of the faithful with him to the altar and placing their concerns and prayers along with the gifts that the priest can offer them to the Father in the Eucharistic Prayer.
Finally, what's the difference between a Transitional Deacon and a Permanent Deacon? In form and function, not much. They serve in the same roles liturgically, so the faithful will notice much difference between them.
However, in the Archdiocese, there are some practical differences. First among them, transitional deacons automatically have faculties to preach, which permanent deacons must do a bit more schooling to be granted. Also, transitional deacons are permitted to wear clerical attire, whereas permanent deacons are not.
Other than that, much else is the same.
Remember, pray for priests, seminarians, and those ten who will be ordained this day; as well as the three who will be ordained priests in May.