Permanent Diaconate—Ministries of the Diaconate

​To say that Deacons are called to witness to, and to embody the Christian life, means that they are called to further the pastoral mission of the Church as are all the Baptized, by participating in:  Koinonia (community), Liturgia (worship and Sacraments), Kerygma (proclamation and teaching), and Diakonia (pastoral care and Christian social engagement). The Deacon is to build up the community in love; to assist the priest in Liturgy and undertake the specific Liturgical roles assigned to him; he is to teach the Faith and Evangelize; and he is to serve those in need.

This last role, the Diakonia, is central to the vocation of the Deacon from which the title itself is taken. We learn from the Pastoral Epistles and from the Acts of the Apostles that Deacons had an important role of Service in the early Church.[1]  Indeed, the Deacon shares in the Sacrament of Holy Orders and is therefore a Sacramental sign of Christ the Servant.

Specifically, the Deacon participates in the Church’s mission by fulfilling three munera, Latin for works or responsibilities: the munus docendi which is Evangelization and instructing the people; the munus sanctificandi, namely the life of prayer, the administration of Baptism, the custody and distribution of the Eucharist, the assisting at and blessing of marriages, presiding at funeral rites and the administration of sacramentals; and the munus regendi, the work of charity and assistance and guiding the Church’s charitable activities.[2] Of course, the particular way these munera are enacted depends on the particular situation and needs within the local Church.

Since the Permanent Deacon is ordained and is a sign of Christ the Servant, he must serve in close collaboration with the Bishop and all members of the Presbyterate. Through his ordination he is brought into a new relationship with Christ through the Holy Spirit and is meant to perform his duties within the context of the whole Diocese and in close association with the Baptized as they fulfill their rightful place within the mission of the Church both at the Diocesan level and in the local parish.

In fraternity with the Bishop and Priests and in communion with the whole People of God, the Deacon has many areas of ministerial involvement, depending on his gifts and talents and with the specific needs of the Diocese:  Outreach Ministry; Catechesis for both adult and children; Marriage and Baptismal Preparation; Chaplaincies for prisons, care homes, universities and colleges; Youth Ministries; Ministry to First Nations; Outreach to the disadvantaged and marginalized.


[1] Acts 6:1-6
[2] Congregation for Catholic Education/Congregation for the Clergy, Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons, (#3) Feb. 22, 1998

For more information about the Permanent Diaconate Program, please contact the Pastoral Centre at (250) 479-1331 or email

~ Download the Bishop's Pastoral Letter here



Last Updated

Feb 2, 2018


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