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In the Catholic Church, the diaconate is the first of three ranks in ordained ministry. Deacons preparing for the priesthood are transitional deacons. Those not planning to be ordained priests are called permanent deacons. Married men may be ordained permanent deacons, and single men may be ordained with a commitment to celibacy.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations supports the activities of the bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations in the restoration of the Diaconate and the development of diaconal ministry. It also assists and coordinates the development of diaconal formation programs on the diocesan and national levels. The secretariat assists the General Secretary of the USCCB in responding to all matters concerning the ministry of deacons in the Church in the United States. It provides services and liaison support to national organizations and directors of diocesan diaconate offices.
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