National Directory

Foreword THROUGHOUT THE LAST DECADE of the twentieth century, the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Congregation for the Clergy devoted considerable attention to the ordained ministries of priest and deacon. After the publication of the Basic Norms for the Formation of Priests and the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests in 1994, these two Congregations took up the same issues related to the ordained ministry of permanent deacons. In February 1998, they pro mulgated the Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons and the Directory on the Life and Ministry of Permanent Deacons . In a Joint Declaration and Introduction, the prefects of these two Congregations offered these documents as directives “of which due account is to be taken by the Episcopal Conferences when preparing their respective ‘Rationes.’ As with the Ratio fundamentalis institutionis sacerdotalis , the Congregation offers this aid to the various Episcopates to facilitate them in discharging adequately the prescriptions of canon 236 of the Code of Canon Law and to ensure for the Church, unity, earnestness and completeness in the formation of permanent Deacons.” 1 After years of extensive consultation and preparation, the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States received the recognitio from the Holy See on October 30, 2004. The National Directory was then officially promulgated by the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on December 26, 2004, the Feast of St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr. This Second Edition of the National Directory went through extensive review and some meaningful revisions. It received recognitio from the Holy See on November 13, 2020.The date of official promulgation by the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is June 9, 2022, the Memorial of St. Ephrem, Deacon, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church.

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