Our Background

The Permanent Deacon was first instituted by the Apostles (Acts 6: 1-6) as a stable, permanent ministry of diaconia.

By the 5th Century he had disappeared from the Western Church. This Sacred Order of Permanent Deacon was restored in the Catholic Church by the Second Vatican Council which took place in Rome from 1962 to 1965. Both Pope St. Paul VI and Pope Francis called it the restoration of the original Deacon to the Apostles. The Permanent Deacon had been absent from the Church for approximately 1500 years.

The Deacon is ordained to be where the Bishop cannot be.

The Constitutiones Apostolorum (375-380AD) states that the Deacon is “the Bishop’s ear, mouth, heart and soul.” That is, in the basic church which is the family unit, in the work place, in the social forums, in the schools, colleges and universities. In other words, as a bridge between the Church and the World, the Deacon lives and works with and among the people, in the reality of the people and in so doing the Deacon manifests Christ in that reality. He is an evangelizer and his mission is to bring the light and truth of the Gospel to the secular world in which he lives and works. The Deacon is at the coal-face, an agent of Christ in the mission of a New Evangelisation. As such the Deacon develops a prayer life and partakes of the sacramental life of the church in order to be strengthened for ministry.


Find out more about becoming a Deacon

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A Deacon’s Reflection is by Deacon Greg Garnie of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg, South Africa. Permanent Deacons is from the Congregation for Catholic Education & the Congregation for the Clergy.

Both books are available from Pauline’s Catholic Bookshop in Kensington, Johannesburg. A Deacon’s Reflection is also available from Amazon.com in paperback and kindle form.