National Directory



18. Finally, this document adopts as its own the concluding directive of the Congregation for Catholic Education: May the ordinaries, “to whom the present document is given, ensure that it becomes an object of attentive reflection in communion with their priests and communities. It will be an important point of reference for those Churches in which the permanent diaconate is a living and active reality; for the others, it will be an effective invitation to appreciate the value of that precious gift of the Spirit which is diaconal service.” 50 19. Gratefully conscious of those who have served on CCLV, the USCCB acknowledges the direction of Most Rev. Michael F. Burbidge, under whose chairmanship the present effort was begun, His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Tobin, CSsR, under whose chair manship the document’s revisions were composed and approved by the bishops, and Most Rev. James Checchio under whose chairman ship it has been brought to conclusion. 1 There is one Sacred Order of Deacons. Some deacons, who are in transition to ordination to the priesthood, usually exercise the Order of Deacons for a brief period of time. The vast majority of deacons live and exercise it, however, as a permanent rank of the hierarchy in both the Latin and Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris . This Directory addresses only the formation, ministry, and life of permanent deacons in the Latin Church. In 1995, as authorized by the General Secretary of the NCCB, the word “permanent” was discontinued in the title of the bishops’ committee, in the NCCB’ Secretariat for the Diaconate, and in its communiqués. In this text, therefore, the word “permanent” is not used unless it is contained in a specific quotation or in the title or committee of a publication.When the word “diaconate” is mentioned in this text, it refers to those who seek to be or are ordained permanent deacons. In 2001, the NCCB, the “canonical entity,” and the United States Catholic Conference, the “civil entity,” were canonically and civilly reconstituted as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, or USCCB. This reconstituted entity is implied in this document except in those circumstances where the text requires reference to the previous nomenclatures. 2 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, Final Report Ecclesia SubVerbo Dei Mysteria Christi Celebrans Pro Salute Mundi (December 7, 1995). 3 LG, no. 1. 4 CCC, no. 738.

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