The Permanent Diaconate
April 24, 2013
Bishop John Buckley has issued a statement to the effect that he has decided to introduce the permanent diaconate in our diocese. Following the information sessions that were held throughout the diocese in 2010 Bishop Buckley has reflected on the observations made and believes that this is the opportune time to introduce thisancient order into the local church. In this, Bishop Buckley is following the practice of many countries that have done so over the past 50 years and, more recently, many Irish dioceses who have introducted the Diaconate. This development will be in tandem with the main pastoral thrust of the diocese which has seen the growing involvement of lay people in the leadership and life of our parishes. One of the deacon’s main functions will be to ensure that this development is consolidated.
The permanent deacon shares with the bishop and priest in the sacrament of orders. He can perform many of the functions currently associated with the priest: baptisms, weddings, funeral preaching. But, he brings the grace of his ordination to all aspects of his life and is expected to have a particular care for the poor. The diaconate isopen to married and single men alike: married ment must be at least 35 on applying: celibate men can be accepted at 25. The upper age limit is 63 at ordination. The preparation takes four years. It consists of an introductory year aimed at helping a candidate to discern if he has a vocation and a three year study programme which is approved by the Pontifical University at Maynooth. The introductory year will begin in September next and those interested should contact their local priest or the Diocesan Director of the Permanent Diaconate: Canon Bertie O’Mahony.