Handbook for the permanent diaconate roman catholic diocese of lexington 1310 West Main Street

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1310 West Main Street
Lexington KY 40508-2048

February 24, 2014

(Bishops Letterhead Omitted)

Bishops’ Letter
Table of Contents

I. Administration

Director 3

Organization 3

Deacon Assembly 3

Deacon Council 4

Area Meetings 4
II Ministry

Assignment of Deacons 5

Faculties 6

Transfer of Deacons 6

Directive of the Bishop 6

Request from Deacon 6

Leave of Absence 7

Inactive Status 7

Administrative Leave 7

Retirement 7

Deacons Moving Out of the Diocese 8

Diaconal Obligations 8

III Continuing Formation

Continuing Education 8

Requirements 8

Sources 9

Activities not Acceptable 9

Continuing Spiritual Formation 9

Liturgy of the Hours 9

Annual Retreat 10

Spiritual Direction 10

Ministry Evaluation 10

IV Other

Special Liturgies 10

Deacons Moving into the Diocese 10

Funeral of a Deacon 11

Clerical Attire 11

Clerical Title 11

Deacon Community Fund 11
Appendix A: Deacon Evaluation Instructions and Review Form 12
Appendix B: Deacon Community Fund Document 18
Appendix C: Clerical Garb for Permanent Deacons 21
Appendix D: Deacon Funeral Planning 24

The Director or Directors for the Office of the Permanent Diaconate (“the Office” herein), as representatives of the Diocesan Bishop, are directly responsible for all activities and programs related to the life and ministry of the permanent deacons and their wives. The Directors are appointed by the Bishop. They are responsible for the functions defined for the Director of Deacon Personnel and the Director of Formation as outlined in the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States (“The Directory” herein) n271 and n286, and for the functions defined in this handbook. The Bishop may assign additional responsibilities. Additional staff may be assigned to the office as required.
The following have been established to assist the Directors in carrying out the responsibilities of the office:
A. Deacon Council
The Director of Deacon Personnel chairs the Deacon Council. The council participates with the Director in formulating policies and programs concerning the ministry of deacons in the diocese and for the continued spiritual and academic development of those ordained to the Permanent Diaconate. (The Directory n290) The council also assists in formulating policies and procedures concerning recruitment, selection and formation for diaconal candidates.
B. Admission and Scrutinies Committee
The Admissions and Scrutinies Committee’s responsibilities are “to review and recommend applicants for admission to aspirant and candidate formation, nominate aspirants for the Rite of Admission to Candidacy, and review and nominate candidates for installation into the ministries of lector and acolyte, and eventually, for ordination to the diaconate.” (The Directory n284) This committee assists the Director of Formation and consists of priests, deacons and their wives, members of religious orders and laypersons. The functions and procedures for this committee are in the Handbook for Formation of Permanent Deacons.

The organization for the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese in Lexington is as follows:
A. Deacon Assembly
The Deacon Assembly is made up of all deacons in the diocese and their wives, if married. Included in this group are incardinated deacons, those not incardinated but serving in the diocese, retired deacons and spouses and spouses of deceased deacons. The Deacon Assembly will meet at least twice a year excluding the annual retreat.
B. Deacon Council
The purpose of the Council is to:

  • Develop, recommend and implement programs that will foster the growth and welfare of the deacon community.

  • Provide opportunities for ongoing spiritual, educational and ministerial formation.

  • Promote and maintain contact among members of the deacon community.

  • Establish functional committees as required.

  • Recommend programs, policies and procedures to the bishop related to matters of concern for the Deacon community.

The Deacon Council membership will consist of five elected deacon/deacon couples from the Deacon Assembly in addition to the Director of Deacon Personnel. Wives of deacons are invited to serve as full members of the council but they are not required to do so. The elected members will serve for a term of three years. Terms will be staggered (electing only one or two members each year) to ensure continuity. Nominations will be sought from the entire assembly membership. Vacancies on the council may be filled by a special election or the Council may defer to the next regularly scheduled election.

The Council will meet as needed. The annual organization meeting will be the first council meeting held approximately 30 days from the completion of a regularly scheduled election. At this meeting the newly elected members will assume their positions and the Council will elect a secretary, assign committee liaisons for any council committees and set the dates for Deacon Assembly meetings/retreat for the following year. In the absence of the Director the secretary will act as chair of the Deacon Council.
Council decisions require the consensus of the members and/or the Bishop’s approval. If consensus cannot be obtained the decision should be deferred thus allowing further discussion. If time does not allow for deferral, the Director will consult with the Bishop to arrive at a decision.
The Council may establish committees to aid in fulfilling the purposes of the Council. Members on committees will be recruited from the Deacon Assembly; however, membership may also include persons who are not from the Deacon Assembly but who have expertise relevant to the purpose of the particular committee. In addition, the Council will assign one of its members to be a liaison to the committee. The liaison is encouraged to be an active member of the committee. The committee may select its own chair.
C. Area Meetings
The Deacon Council will promote the establishment of area meetings. Areas are defined as logical/geographical groupings of deacons and their families and may cross Diocesan Region boundaries as appropriate. Meetings are the responsibility of the particular area members but should at a minimum be scheduled at least twice each year for prayers, discussion, sharing and help in personal development and ministry. Area groups may consist of deacons only, deacon wives only, deacons and wives together and/or deacon families as appropriate for the goals of a particular group as determined through consensus. Primary support must come from among the deacons themselves and their wives.

II. Ministry
The principle criteria for a diaconal assignment are the pastoral needs of the diocesan Church and the personal qualifications of the deacon. (The Directory n42) Deacon assignments ought to provide ample opportunities for the integrated exercise of the threefold diaconal ministry: word, liturgy and charity.
The Bishop appoints the deacon to a specific ministry by means of an official letter of appointment. The letter of appointment will specify the ministry or ministries to which the deacon is assigned, provide a delineation of his duties and responsibilities and designate his immediate pastor or priest supervisor (for those cases where the deacon is assigned to an office or agency not headed by a priest). When the deacon’s assignment is to be changed, a new letter of appointment will be issued. The following procedures will be followed relative to the assignment of deacons.
1. In considering individuals for specific assignments, the Director will consult with the deacon (or the deacon candidate, if prior to ordination) to appraise the deacon’s gifts, interests and skills, and will assess realistically his capacities, prior obligations, and the time and travel requirements from the deacon’s place of residence.
2. When a particular assignment is identified, the Director, together with the pastor (or the priest supervisor, if an office or agency not headed by a priest is involved, and a representative of the office or agency) and the deacon are to be involved in the preparation of the letter of appointment. The wife of a married deacon is to be kept informed about the potential assignment as the letter is prepared.
3. When the appointment letter is available, the deacon and the pastor or parish priest (or representative of the office or agency, if applicable) will meet to agree on key assignments and objectives as required by the Annual Performance Review process and to identify the parish’s (or agency’s) responsibility for diaconal expenses. (See Appendix A for Performance Review process.) Since this agreement is the basis for the annual review process, it is advisable that its main points be documented.
The agreement should make as explicitly as possible the implicit expectations of the participants, thereby establishing a clear line of mutual responsibility and accountability among them. Since the deacon is expected to support himself and his family by employment outside the church or by specific employment within the diocese apart from his diaconate assignment, the agreement must recognize the deacon’s combined responsibilities for family, job and ministry. The following specific items should be included in the agreement:
- Average weekly time spent in ministry (Ordinarily this would be 10 to 15 hours per week, but may vary depending on the deacon’s other obligations.)

- The deacon is ordained to a threefold ministry of word, liturgy and charity. Each of these ministries is to be included in some way.

- Reimbursement for agreed upon expenses. (The Directory n96)

- Reimbursement for annual retreat and continuing education expenses.

- Specify the expectations of the community directly served by the deacon.

- Indicate the lines of supervision and accountability.

Problem resolution should be handled first by the deacon and his supervisor. Should this process fail, the deacon will notify the Director. The Director will consult with the Bishop to determine an appropriate course of action.
Faculties in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington are granted by the Bishop on an individual basis. Each deacon will receive a letter from the Bishop defining those faculties granted to him for ministry within the diocese. In most cases, deacons will be granted faculties as outlined in the “Clergy Faculties” letter. A copy of this letter may be obtained from the Office of the Chancellor.
Upon ordination, deacons are generally given ordinary preaching faculties, that is, they may preach at liturgical functions. However, if the Director determines that these faculties should be postponed in the case of any particular deacon, the Director will so inform the Bishop and recommend that the exercise of the faculties to preach be granted at a time other than ordination. The deacon will be fully informed concerning his preaching faculties prior to his ordination.
From time to time, it may be advisable and/or necessary to transfer a deacon from his current assignment to another parish or assignment. All diaconal appointments are officially made and effected only by the Bishop. Since the right of appointment of clerics belongs to the Bishop no deacon or supervisor may bring about the transfer of a deacon from one assignment to another.
A. Directive of the Bishop
The Bishop may name a deacon to a specific assignment or request a deacon to consider a transfer to a new assignment because of an immediate diocesan need that must be addressed. To meet the challenge, deacons, as individuals and as members of a servant community, must possess a strong ecclesial sense of mission and ever-widening vision of ministry. When making assignments, the Bishop will always take into consideration the deacon’s place of residence, family responsibilities, and individual circumstances.
B. Request for Transfer from the Deacon
A deacon will occasionally seek a transfer from a given assignment. The deacon must keep in mind that he has been ordained to serve the needs of the local church and not necessarily those of his home parish or of a parish of his own specific preference.

  • The deacon will contact the Director to discuss the feasibility of a transfer and to initiate the transfer process.

  • The deacon will make known to his supervisor his desire to be reassigned.

  • The Director will notify the Bishop of the deacon’s request. The Bishop will consider the request in terms of the needs of the diocese, the reason for the request and the recommendations of the Director.

  • If the Bishop approves, the Director will meet with the deacon and the new supervisor to ascertain the specifics of a new assignment.

  • The Chancellor or the Office of the Bishop will notify by letter all parties involved concerning the date of the appointment to the new assignment.

A leave of absence may be granted by the Bishop when formally requested in writing. The letter requesting leave should be addressed to the Bishop and a copy forwarded to the Director. Leave may be granted for reasons of health, personal problems, family commitments, temporary transfers in occupation, or temporary dislocation from the diocese.
Leave may be granted by the bishop for a period of up to one year. The Bishop, the Director, and the deacon may review this at any time. The deacon is relieved of responsibility for any ecclesiastical office or function, as well as participation in diaconal ministry. Leave may be extended for an additional year after consultation with the Director and approval by the Bishop.
If the deacon is not able or ready to resume his assignment after two years leave of absence the Director will make a recommendation to the Bishop concerning the status of the deacon. The recommendation will consider the possibilities for Inactive Status, Administrative Leave or Retirement.
Deacons in inactive status in the Diocese of Lexington do not have any diaconal assignment and may not hold any ecclesiastical office. When a deacon is in an inactive status, he does not enjoy faculties except if they are specifically requested in a particular circumstance.
Deacons are in inactive status when any of the following apply:

  • The deacon is removed from his diaconal assignment or is not given diaconal assignment by the Bishop.

  • The deacon is a resident in the diocese, is incardinated in another diocese and has not requested faculties or an assignment in the Diocese of Lexington.

  • The deacon has exhausted the allowable two years leave of absence and is assigned inactive status by the Bishop.

The Bishop may also place a deacon on administrative leave for reasons not related to health, family circumstances or temporary relocation outside the diocese. A deacon on administrative leave will be relieved of all responsibility for any ecclesiastical office or ministry and all active ministries. He may not function or represent himself as a deacon while this leave remains in effect. Faculties will be suspended pending the resolution of the problem that brought about the imposition of this administrative leave.
A deacon may request retirement whenever illness or other conditions prevent the proper exercise of diaconal ministry. When a deacon has completed his 75th year he must submit a letter of resignation to the Bishop who may either accept or defer the resignation. The deacon retires from his diaconal assignment or ecclesiastical office, not from the diaconal ministry.
Upon retirement, the deacon retains his diaconal faculties in the diocese, unless it is clear that he cannot function properly. Even in the cases of illness, the Bishop must make the determination and officially remove the deacon’s faculties, informing the deacon concerning the reason for such action. However, the Bishop, in consultation with the Director and the deacon, and with good reason, may also remove only certain faculties from a retired deacon, depending upon the capabilities of the individual deacon. The Bishop may also choose to leave the deacon with all his diaconal faculties. Subsequent retirement letters may be requested.
A retired deacon is encouraged to remain active in all functions of the Diaconal Community. He is entitled to all benefits and information accorded to deacons.
If a deacon knows that he will be absent from the diocese for longer than one month and in temporary residence elsewhere, or moves out of the diocese permanently, he must inform the Director of the proposed length of his absence, his mailing address and telephone number. If the deacon plans to become involved in formal diaconal ministry in the diocese in which he takes up temporary or permanent residence, it is expected he will follow the procedure for application for ministry specified by the diocese in which he resides.
If a deacon moves permanently outside the canonical jurisdiction of the Diocese of Lexington and seeks incardination into the diocese in which he will reside, it is expected he will follow the procedure for application specified by the diocese into which he will move permanently.

(Ref: Canon 267 and the Protocol for Incardination/Excardination of Deacons published by the Bishop’s Committee on the Permanent Diaconate, March 1995.)

Leave of Absence, Administrative Leave, Inactive Status, or Retirement do not relieve the deacon of his clerical obligations, e.g. praying the Liturgy of the Hours, being a faithful witness to the Church’s teaching etc.
Deacons are ordained ministers in the Church and an increasingly educated society demands that deacons be knowledgeable of and reliable witnesses to the Faith and spokesmen for the Church’s teaching. As such, they will want to update their skills through continuing formation and especially through ongoing conversion to the Gospel. Continuing formation for deacons is a requirement that ensures that deacons in the Diocese pursue a plan of formation throughout their lives in order to remain currently informed about the Church’s teaching.

The subject matter of continuing education must relate to the charitable, liturgical, sacramental and theological aspects of the deacon’s ministry. Continuing education should include the gathering of background information to nourish current ministry or to prepare for future ministry. Other courses that help one in ministry or prepare one to better serve the People of God should also be included.
A. Requirements
Each deacon shall complete a minimum of twenty (20) hours of Continuing Education every year related to diaconal ministry. At least (2) hours shall be devoted to the study of homiletics each year or at least once every three years the deacon must attend a homiletics workshop.
B. Sources
National and Regional Conferences - Provide excellent sources through noteworthy keynote speakers and workshop presenters. Certificates of attendance are offered and contain the number of credit hours issued for that conference.
Formal Programs - Activities shall include those that are offered by the Lexington Diocese (two study days per year), colleges, agencies of the diocese, hospitals and social service institutions. Count one credit for each classroom hour attended.
Self-Study - Credit may be given for viewing videotapes, listening to audiotapes, and reading written materials. Such items should be submitted to the Deacon’s supervisor or to the Director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate for pre-approval. Count one credit hour for each 30 pages of reading and one credit hour for each hour of viewing or listening.
Course Work - Credit for college course work shall be based on the number of contact hours, that is, one hour of credit for each contact hour.
Research and Publication - Credit may be earned for research that leads to publication in the form of an article, chapter, or book written, in whole or in part, by the deacon himself.
C. Activities not Acceptable for Continuing Education Credit
- Travel time

- Informal meetings and discussions

- Prayer services and liturgies

- Spiritual direction sessions

- Days of Recollection

- Retreats

- Parish Council meetings

- Social gatherings

- Diocesan board meetings/functions

- Support group meetings/functions

- Courses not related to diaconal ministry

- Conducting classes, workshops, retreats, etc.

The place of assignment is expected to assist financially with the deacon’s annual continuing education and will make available a reimbursement of a minimum of $300 per year for him.
Very importantly, continuing spiritual formation includes ongoing development of the spiritual dimension of the life of a deacon. Therefore, the following endeavors should be considered minimum requirements by the deacon to maintain a successful and fruitful formation program.
A. Liturgy of the Hours
The permanent deacon is obligated to recite Morning and Evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours every day. Morning and Evening Prayer should become a valued part of daily life.

(Directory n90)

B. Annual Retreat
To facilitate growth and conversion, active deacons are required by canon law to participate in a yearly retreat. In this diocese, the retreat requirement is at least a weekend in length given to spiritual growth and enlightenment. The Deacon Community of Lexington sponsors one retreat annually and all deacons and wives, as well as widows of deacons, are strongly encouraged to attend this retreat. If this is not possible, then the active deacon is responsible for making his own arrangements and compliance records are to be submitted to the Director.
The deacon’s place of assignment will reimburse the deacon and his spouse for the cost of their annual retreat up to at least the cost of the Deacon Community retreat.
C. Spiritual Direction
Deacons are encouraged to have a spiritual director with whom they confer regularly.
The ministry of the deacon is to be evaluated in accordance with the provisions outlined in Appendix A. Implementation of the deacon evaluation process is the responsibility of the Vicar General. This responsibility may be delegated to the Director of Deacon Personnel
The entire “body of deacons” is expected to attend special liturgies. Among the special liturgies are:

  • Ordination of a deacon, priest or bishop,

  • Chrism liturgy

  • The funeral of a deacon, priest or bishop.

In the event of a funeral for the wife or minor child of a deacon, it is recommended that deacons (vested) and wives attend as a community to show support for the deacon.

Permanent deacons moving into the Diocese of Lexington who are incardinated in another diocese, and who wish to serve as deacons in this diocese, must obtain proper faculties from the Bishop before exercising diaconal ministry. They must also obtain letters of recommendation from the bishop of their previous diocese and from the bishop of the diocese where they are incardinated if they are different. These letters will be sent to the Bishop.
Permanent deacons transferring to the Diocese of Lexington from another diocese should, as soon as possible upon arrival, contact the Director of Deacon Personnel for a personal interview.
Before requesting incardination into the Diocese of Lexington and excardination from his previous diocese, the deacon must serve in diaconal ministry in the Diocese of Lexington for at least a period of three years. Having successfully fulfilled the probationary period, the deacon may request incardination into the Diocese of Lexington. A letter requesting excardination must be sent by the deacon to the bishop of the diocese where he is currently incardinated. After receiving the document of excardination from the excardinating bishop, the Bishop of Lexington will prepare a decree of incardination and inform the diocese of excardination of the incardination of the deacon into the Diocese of Lexington. Incardination into the Diocese of Lexington is not complete until both documents have been executed and the bishops have been duly informed. (Ref: Canon 267 and the Protocol for Incardination/Excardination of Deacons published by the Bishop’s Committee on the Permanent Diaconate, March 1995.)
The death of a deacon is an event of sorrow and hope both for the family of the deacon and the Christian community of the diocese. As a result, the celebration of his funeral takes on both a public and private nature. The desires of the deceased deacon (if known) and the surviving family must always take precedence in the planning the deacon’s funeral.
Each deacon is asked to complete the Funeral Planning form that is included as Appendix D to this Handbook. Please furnish copies of this Funeral Planning document to the Chancellor’s Office and to the Director. If you list a deacon to act as “Coordinator” to assist your family with planning your funeral, be sure he is aware of your wishes.
“The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops specifies that permanent deacons should resemble the lay faithful in dress and matters of lifestyle. Each diocesan bishop should, however, determine and promulgate any exceptions to this law, as well as specify the appropriate clerical

attire if it is to be worn.” (Directory n89).

Bishop Gainer has promulgated a particular law regarding clerical garb for Permanent Deacons. This is included as Appendix C.

In all forms of address for permanent deacons, the appropriate title is “Deacon” (Directory n88). It is preferred that the title “Rev. Mr.” be reserved for transitional deacons, however, the Bishop may designate certain formal correspondence where the title “Rev. Mr.” may be used for the permanent diaconate.
In individual situations of need, the Diocesan church should assist deacons and their families in need (Directory n94). The deacon community should take the primary responsibility for providing this assistance. To this end, the diocese has established the Deacon Community Fund. Periodically, deacons and their families will be asked to contribute to this fund to build a reserve. The document establishing this fund and defining its purpose is included in Appendix B.


Appendix A Page 1




The Diocese of Lexington believes in the accountability and the affirmation that occurs in the context of a performance review. This serves not only the needs of the Diocese to evaluate effectiveness, but also is an aid in the development of the individual’s contribution.


A deacon’s written performance review is based on an assessment of his ministry. It shall encompass the time period from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. The review is the responsibility of the supervisor and is based on the deacon’s Letter of Appointment and the specific goals and objectives set for/with the deacon. Each deacon’s active participation in the process of the review is critical to the success and purpose of the review. Past accomplishments, affirmations, recommendations, new requirements, and action plans and goals are all essential ingredients of the performance review.


At the beginning of the time period, at least by early August, the supervisor and deacon should meet to discuss and confirm objectives based on the Parish (Agency) Mission Statement, the parish (agency) goals, and the deacon’s Letter of Appointment.  At this meeting they should discuss the following:


  • a plan for continued growth in ministry

  • agree on key responsibilities and assignments

  • determine results expected for each key responsibility

  • agree on what deacon expenses the parish will pay, including an amount for the deacon and his wife to attend an annual retreat, an allowance for continuing education, and other appropriate expenses. (Specifics concerning these expenses are available from the Office of the Permanent Diaconate)


Toward the end of the time period, by late May or early June, the deacon should complete the self-review portions (Parts I, II and III) of the Deacon Performance Review form and Addendum 1 to that form, The Continuing Education Log, and give these to his supervisor. The supervisor will review these, complete Part IV and record the results achieved by the deacon in his key responsibilities. The supervisor will then assign an overall rating that best describes the deacon’s performance.  The supervisor and the deacon will have a year-end evaluation meeting, which will result in some preliminary objectives being set for the next year. Together they will complete the form. The supervisor may keep a copy for his confidential personnel files but not in parish files open to the public. The original is forwarded to the Office of the Permanent Diaconate at the Catholic Center. The original will become a part of the deacon’s personnel file maintained in the Chancellors Office.

The deacon’s signature does not necessarily indicate agreement with the review, only that he has reviewed it. Each deacon shall have an opportunity to respond in writing to his review. If a written response is given, it becomes a part of the review.
Appendix A, Page2

Name: _______________________________________ Month/Year of Review: _______________________

Parish Name or Agency Name: _______________________________________________________________

The deacon being evaluated completes Parts I, II, III and Addendum I, the DEACON’S RETREAT AND CONTINUING EDUCATION LOG. The Pastor/Parish Priest or the Supervising Priest completes PART IV.
Use the following performance rating system for parts III and IV and add comments for clarity and elaboration.

4 Excellent performance

3 Above average performance

2 Performance meets requirements

1 Performance fails meet requirements
PART I: Describe an experience during this period that energized you in ministry:
PART II: Describe an experience during this period that drained you in ministry:
PART III: List up to five key goals/responsibilities, based on your Letter of Appointment and the goals and objectives set with your supervisor, and evaluate your performance.
1. Key Responsibility: ____________________________________________________________________

Circle Rating: 4 3 2 1

2. Key Responsibility: ____________________________________________________________________

Circle Rating: 4 3 2 1



3. Key Responsibility:___________________________________________________________________

Circle Rating: 4 3 2 1



Appendix A, Page 3
4. Key Responsibility:___________________________________________________________________
Circle Rating: 4 3 2 1


5. Key Responsibility:___________________________________________________________________
Circle Rating: 4 3 2 1
Comments: ___________________________________________________________________________


PART IV Completed by the supervisor and reviewed with the deacon.

Pastoral Qualities:

Contributes to a sense of community 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________

Assisting or presiding at parish liturgies/prayer 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Maintains a spirit of hope 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Articulates a sense of parish vision 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Listens – uses conflict management skills 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Preaching 4 3 2 1___________________________________
Leadership Qualities:

Consults others when needed 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________

Delegates appropriately 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Plans, organizes, and sets goals 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Manages effectively under pressure 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Affirms co-workers 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Shows initiative 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Administrative Qualities:

Holds/participates in meetings 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________

Complies with diocesan policies 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Administers budget with good stewardship 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Completes reports clearly and on time 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________

Appendix A, Page 4

Personal Qualities:

Personifies love, understanding, and sensitivity

in interpersonal relationships 4 3 2 1___________________________________
Engages in personal prayer 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Takes appropriate time for self 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Participates in continuing education 4 3 2 1 ___________________________________
Overall evaluation of Deacon

Above Average
Needs Improvement
Summary of Strengths:
Summary of Improvement Needed:
Specific Goal(s) for improvement:


GENERAL COMMENTS:______________________________________________________________
Signature:______________________________________ (DEACON)
Signature:______________________________________ Date: ________________________


The original of this review is to be sent to the Office of the Permanent Diaconate at the Catholic Center. Copies of this review may be kept in a confidential file by the supervisor.

Appendix A, Page 5

Addendum I to Deacons Performance Review


NAME______________________________________________ For the Period ____________________________
Deacons in the diocese of Lexington are expected to accrue a minimum of 20 actual hours of continuing education each year in addition to the annual retreat. The deacon community will sponsor approximately ten continuing education hours per year for deacons and their wives. The deacon couple is strongly encouraged to take advantage of these offerings. Various other agencies within the diocese offer programs to assist ministers seeking to update their skills. Reading, listening to tapes or viewing videos are valid ways of updating one’s professional ministry. It is recommended that their use should not count for more than ten hours of the total.
Please complete this form annually and attach it to your annual review.
1. Do you have a Spiritual Director: Yes______ No:_______

2. Retreat(s) attended this year:

Date(s) of the retreat:________________________________________________
If not the Deacon Retreat, why this choice:_______________________________
3. Continuing Education Courses/Seminars/Study Days/ # of Hours

Videos/Audio Tapes etc. (Please List Below)

____________________________________ __________
____________________________________ __________
____________________________________ __________
____________________________________ __________
____________________________________ __________
____________________________________ __________
____________________________________ __________
Total __________

Signature ______________________________ Date _______________

Deacon Community Fund

Appendix B, Page 1

Deacon Community Fund

Catholic Diocese of Lexington

Article I Purpose

  1. To establish, maintain, and update a memorial for deceased deacons and their wives. The memorial shall include all incardinated deacons and their wives and any unincardinated deacons and their wives who have served in the diocese and are residing in the diocese at the time of their death. Other deacons and their wives may be included at the discretion and recommendation of the Deacon Council with the approval of the Bishop.

  1. To assist in meeting the intent of paragraph 94 of the Directory for Formation, Life, and Ministry of Permanent Deacons in the United States (“In an individual situation of need, the diocesan Church ought to assist the deacon and his family in charity”) and the provisions of Canon 1274.

  1. Other purposes as initiated by the Deacon Council or Vicar General and approved by the Bishop.

Article II Governance

  1. The fund shall be established and maintained in accordance with Diocesan Financial policies and procedures as a restricted fund. Investments and disbursements will be in compliance with sound financial practices of diocesan operations.

  1. Expenditures for the establishment of the Deacon Memorial shall be approved by the Director of the Permanent Diaconate after the Bishop has approved the budget, design, and placement. The Diocesan Building Commission will be consulted and will make recommendations for the Deacon Memorial. Sufficient funds must be available for the completion of the project without incurring debt obligations.

  1. Expenditure for maintaining and updating the memorial shall be approved and identified as perpetual care funds within the fund corpus for that purpose.

  1. Expenditure for the assistance of the deacons and their families in need require the recommendation of the Deacon Council and the approval of the Bishop or appointed Diocesan Administrator. Contributions for the purpose of assistance will be made with the intent that they remain confidential and a need to know basis.

Appendix B, Page 2

Article III Contributions and Finances

  1. While anyone may make direct contributions to this fund, it is anticipated that the Deacon community will be the primary source of contributions. It is anticipated that the fund will be set up so that contributions are tax deductible in accordance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provisions.

  1. The Deacon Council will provide the initiatives, marketing, and supervision of the Fund development efforts.

  1. Contributions will be allocated to the memorial and assistance provisions according to recommendations and approval of the Bishop. Modifications to this allocation may be made from time to time based on priorities, plans, and needs.

  1. Accounting and financial management of this fund will be under the operational supervision of the Diocesan Controller. The funds shall be held as a restricted account and provisions of the Deposit and Loan (D&L). Debts and obligations shall be processed as transactions in compliance with standard and sound practices established under the Diocesan Financial policies. Debts and obligations shall be approved by the Bishop in consultation with the Diocesan Finance Council.

Article IV Dissolution and Disposition

  1. In the sole determination of the Bishop with the advice and consultation of the Deacon Council, Diocesan Finance Council, and Presbyteral Council the Deacon Community Fund may be determined to be unnecessary or incapable for its purposes. The Bishop shall by proclamation declare the Fund to be dissolved and give public notice to this decision.

  1. A portion of the residual funds shall be established for the perpetual care of the established memorial and its updating. Remaining funds shall be reallocated within the Diocese as directed by the Bishop following his consultation in Article IV.A.

  1. The dissolution and disposition described herein will not impact the taxable consequences of prior contributions.

Approved by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Lexington on this 2nd day of May 2006.

(Original signed by Bishop Ronald W. Gainer May 2, 2006)


The Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer

Bishop of Lexington

Clerical Garb for permanent Deacons

Appendix C, Page 1

Particular Law for the Diocese of Lexington


Clerical Garb for Permanent Deacons

The Code of Canon Law does not specify how permanent deacons are to dress in light of their clerical state.

In its particular law governing deacons in the United States, promulgated on November 1, 1999, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that “permanent deacons should resemble the lay faithful in dress and matters of lifestyle.” The same norm includes “each diocesan bishop should determine and promulgate any exception to this law, as well as specify the appropriate clerical attire.”
The witness of a man in Holy Orders is a sign of the Lord among us. In the case of a permanent deacon, Christ the Servant is in the midst of His people. By wearing clerical garb on some occasions, permanent deacons give public witness to Christ for the good of the Church and the edification of people.
I hereby promulgate the following norms regarding the vesture of permanent deacons in the Diocese of Lexington. These norms pertain solely to this diocese. When functioning outside the diocese, permanent deacons should observe the particular laws of the other diocese.

When assisting at or celebrating liturgical rites, permanent deacons shall wear the vestments prescribed in the proper liturgical books.


Apart from liturgical functions, permanent deacons are permitted to wear clerical attire when they deem it pastorally necessary in the performance of their diaconal ministry. By “clerical attire” is meant a black suit, black shoes and socks and a gray clergy shirt with Roman collar. In order to designate the members of the diaconal order, the gray clergy shirt must bear the diaconal insignia, i.e., the cross and stole, embroidered on the front. In less formal settings, especially when ministering in the parish, the black suit coat is optional.

Appendix C, Page 2

The choice of wearing clerical attire which designates the permanent deacon as a member of the Roman Catholic clergy is appropriate but not limited to the following occasions:

– When performing ministerial functions in his assigned parish or institution

– When participating in diocesan events

– When performing diaconal ministry in public institutions, such as hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, etc.

– When celebrating the “Funeral Rites of the Vigil and Related rites and Prayers” if the service does not take place in a church.

– When celebrating the “Rites of Commital” at a cemetery.

– When exercising the Ministry of Charity in assisting the needy whether in a public place, such as a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, etc. or in their homes.

– On other public occasions when it is appropriate to emphasize the clerical status of the Permanent Deacon.
The permanent deacon is not to wear clerical attire at his place of employment or when functioning in his occupation, unless he is in the employ of the diocese, the parish or another Catholic institution.
This diocesan policy is not mandatory for those permanent deacons who choose not to wear clerical attire because of established local custom or personal preference. The use of the diaconal cross lapel pin or diaconal cross on a neck chain remains an option when the deacon is not wearing clerical attire.
In death the permanent deacon may be buried, vested in alb, stole with or without dalmatic. The body may also be dressed in a black suit with diaconal clerical shirt or without any clerical vesture. This choice should be included in the deacon’s funeral instructions or clearly communicated to spouse or family members.
This particular law once it assumes the force of law abrogates the former diocesan norm which excluded permanent deacons from wearing clerical attire.
This particular law is promulgated on this date, May 1, 2012 and after a vacatio of four weeks, shall assume the force of law on June 1, 2012.

Deacon Funeral Planning
FUNERAL PLANNING: Permanent Deacons, Diocese of Lexington
As a Permanent Deacon in the Diocese of Lexington you are requested to complete this Funeral Planning form. This information will be used to assist your family and the diocese in honoring your wishes for your funeral liturgies and burial. This completed information will be kept in your personal file at the Catholic Center. Please give a copy of the completed forms to the Chancellor’s Office and to The Director for the Permanent Diaconate. Please insure that family members and the deacon you designated to act as your “coordinator” are aware of your plans for your funeral.
The death of a deacon is an event of sorrow and hope both for the family of the deacon and the Christian community of the diocese. As a result, your funeral celebration takes on both a public and private nature. Your desires and the desires of your family will take precedence in the planning the funeral liturgies. The Bishop should normally be the main celebrant at the funeral Mass of one of his deacons. Therefore, the Bishop’s schedule should be checked for availability PRIOR TO SCHEDULING THE FUNERAL.
The deacon you identified to act as coordinator is to assist the family and the parish in planning the funeral. (If you did not name a deacon as coordinator, the Director will appoint a deacon to act as coordinator.) The coordinator will assist with the following;

  • Insure that the Bishop’s Office (through the Chancellor) and the Director for the Diaconate are notified. The Chancellor will then check the deacon’s personal file and make all the necessary contacts, including notifying the staff of the Catholic Center, priests and deacons of the Diocese of Lexington of the death.

  • In coordination with the Diocesan Worship office, assist as necessary in the planning for the vigil service and the funeral mass. This assistance should be offered to the family, the pastor, and parish funeral planning groups. The Liturgy of the Hours, Office of the Dead should be considered for the vigil service. A copy of the detailed liturgy planning sheet is included so that you may pre-plan as much of the funeral liturgy as you wish.

  • Advise the family that it is appropriate for a deceased deacon to be vested in alb and stole, with or without a dalmatic. The body may also be dressed in a black suit with diaconal clerical shirt or without clerical vesture. Christian symbols such as a stole, Liturgy of the Hours or a bible may be placed on the pall. If the deceased deacon is a veteran the American Flag might be appropriate.

  • Coordinate the liturgies to arrange vesting areas, seating, processions, etc.

DEACON TO ACT AS COORDINATOR___________________________________________

(If none is listed the Director will appoint a deacon as indicated above)

SURVIVING SPOUSE (if married)_________________________________________________

(street address) (city, state, zip)

PHONE:___________________________ email:_____________________________

(area code) number

SURVIVING CHILDREN________________________________________________________
SURVIVING PARENTS_________________________________________________________
NAME of contact person who will work with Diocesan Officials in preparing and planning the funeral: (if other than spouse):

NAME: _________________________________________________________________


(street address) (city, state, zip)

PHONE: ___________________________ email:_____________________________

(area code) number


Have prearrangements been made with this funeral director? ____Yes ____ No


Vestments for the deceased?


MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL (Use included liturgy planning sheet)

Do you wish a family member or close friend to speak in remembrance of you before the Final Commendation? ____ Yes ____ No

Hymns you might like to be used at these various celebrations : ______


Hymns you would like to avoid

Signed: Date:
DATE THIS DOCUMENT Date:________________ Initial:_______

WAS LAST MODIFIED: Date:________________ Initial:_______

Date:________________ Initial:_______


Please use this form when the Bishop presides at the Funeral Mass.

Assisting Deacons:


Master of Ceremonies: assigned by Worship Office


Altar Servers (4):

Rite of Reception of the Body (see Notes)

___ Is part of the Funeral Mass

___ Taking place at the church prior to the Funeral Mass.

Introductory Rites

Entrance Procession:

Incense: ___yes ___no


Collect: Masses for the Dead #4 For a Deacon

Liturgy of the Word (usually chosen from Lectionary nos. 1011 - 1016)

First Reading


Responsorial Psalm Musical Setting:


Second Reading


Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia Setting

Other (in Lent)

Gospel verse: (see Chapter 13 for adults): should be sung

Gospel Reading

Read by Deacon


Universal Prayer (see OCF #167, #401)

Intro by Bishop: ___ included ___ not included

Concluding Prayer by Bishop: ___ included ___ not included

If desired, include a copy of the petitions to be read by assisting deacon when returning this form.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Preparation of the Gifts Hymn

Gift Bearers:

Incense: ___ yes ___ no

Prayer Over the Offerings: Masses for the Dead #4 For a Deacon

Eucharistic Prayer: usually EP III

Preface for the Dead (Roman Missal): ___I ___II ___ III ___ IV ___ V

Speaking Concelebrants (3):

Sanctus Acclamation setting

Memorial Acclamation setting

Great Amen setting

Lord’s Prayer: ___ recited ___sung – setting: __________

Lamb of God setting

Priests and deacons to distribute Communion:

Communion Hymn (s)

Prayer After Communion: Masses for the Dead #4 For a Deacon

Final Commendation

Brief remembrance of the deceased may be given by a friend or family member:

Name of friend or family member: __ _____

Invitation to Prayer (see OCF # 171, 402): _____________________________________

Incensing of the Coffin/ Song of Farewell:

Prayer of Commendation (see OCF #175): ___ A ___ B

Recessional Hymn

Other comments regarding this celebration


  1. The body of an ordained minister lies facing the assembly; the body of a lay person lies facing the altar.

  2. The Easter candle should be placed near where the coffin will be after the procession.

  3. A symbol of Christian life: a Book of the Gospels, a Bible or a cross may be carried in procession then placed on the coffin. If the deceased is an ordained minister, insignia of his order may be placed on the coffin.

  4. There should be no flowers on the altar, and the music of the organ or other instruments is permitted only to assist the singing. (Ceremonial of Bishops # 824)

  5. The reception of the body takes place at the beginning of the funeral liturgy, unless it has already taken place (as when the visitation takes place at the church). Refer to #158 of the Order of Christian Funerals. If the reception of the body has already taken place, the Introductory Rites will take place in the usual way.

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