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From the very earliest days of the church deacons held a special place in the Christian Community, set apart along with bishops and priests for a special role modelled on that of Christ himself. ‘Deacon’ comes from the Greek word diakonos which means a servant or helper. In particular, deacons came to be considered helpers of the bishop, responsible for the community’s day to day material and spiritual well-being.

Those studying for the priesthood are ordained deacon as a step towards the priesthood (transitional deacons). The permanent diaconate was restored in the 1960s and those ordained as permanent deacons have a ministry in today’s Church that is far reaching. Working under their bishop and alongside the parish priest, they serve the Church through the celebration of baptism and marriage, by preaching and by helping the most vulnerable members of the community.


How do I apply to be a priest or deacon?

The person to contact is the Vocations Director of your diocese. A list can be found on

For information on the permanent diaconate visit

click here

Vocation Story

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