Saturday, April 26, 2008

Deacon Ordinations

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.


Anonymous said...

any of the new deacons helping out at Staff Sgt Maupin's funeral at the GAB? It seems like Cincinnati has had too many big funerals this year.

Eric said...

I'm not an expert but it seems to me the primary difference is that permanant deacons are usually married men.

I am pretty sure a permanant deacon would not be permitted to remarry if his wife dies. If he does loose his wife would he then be able to be ordained a preist?

Father Schnippel said...


I doubt that any of these new guys are helping with Staff Sgt Maupin's funeral. He was not Catholic, but was granted permission to be buried in a Catholic cemetary.


Usually permanent deacons are married men, and would not be permitted to get remarried should something happen to his wife. While, yes, they could then go on to be ordained a priest, but there would be some necessary holes in his training that would need to be addressed. (The transitional guys get a much more in depth because it is oriented towards the eventual ordination to priesthood.) I do not know of any of guys in this diocese who have been in that situation.

michael said...

Is a single man allowed to become a permanent deacon, and, if so, is he then prohibited from marrying a first time?

Second question (if you can speak to this issue) - Is a desire for permanent diaconate ever a consideration in the granting of an annulment?


Father Schnippel said...


To question 1: Yep. In fact, the deacon here at the Cathedral is a single man (never married), and even though he is a permanent deacon, and trained and ordained as such, he was the only one of his permanent deacon classmates to stand with the transitional deacons at their ordination to promise celibacy for the sake of the kingdom.

As to question two, I'm not really sure what you're asking; and even if I am on the right path with your question, still not sure what the answer would be. (I've only done one annulment case so far.)

Anonymous said...

The paper here didn't mention that he was Catholic or not, so I assumed he wasn't, but thought I'd ask.

I was guessing that if he was Catholic, you'd be having the funeral at the Cathedral.