Faith/Spirituality Forum: Becoming a Deacon

Becoming a Deacon QUESTION from Paul White on January 1, 2003 I am a 20 year old confused Catholic curious as to the process of becoming a deacon, as opposed to becoming a priest. Do you still have to attend a seminary, and what are the main differences between a deacon and a priest, besides being allowed to marry?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on January 3, 2003 Dear Mr. White:
The procedures to become a Permanent Deacon vary from diocese to diocese. The local Biship decides the particulars.
One does have to be at least 35 years old, and if married you must have your wife's consent and participation.
The training is generally 4 years of discernment and seminary. Typically you and your wife, if married, attend classes on the weekends at wherever the diocese condects the deaconate program.
You need to contact your local diocesan Vocations Director for details and applications and such.
As a permanent Deacon if you are ordained single, you must remain single. So if you want to be married you have to do it BEFORE ordination. A deacon must also promise celibacy if he loses his wife.
As for the difference, both deacons and priests are clergy but only a priest has the power to consecrate the Eucharist, hear confessions, etc. A deacon can witness a marriage, do baptisms, preach at Mass, give blessings not reserved to a priest, etc.
The main difference is that only a Priest can consecrete the Eucharist and hear confessions.
You can learn more details with your Vocations Director of your diocese.
Here is a website with a LOT of information about vocations, including Deacon: http://www.vocations.com/
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