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How to Become a Deacon

January 26th, 2024

To become a Deacon, you traditionally had to convert to Catholicism, but the Universal Life Church enables you to become one instantly.

For many religious individuals, attending church is not enough. They wish instead to become more active members of the church, and they strive to hold official positions within the church’s hierarchy. For Catholics, one potential option is to become a deacon. But what exactly is a deacon, and how do you become one?

What is a Deacon?

A deacon holds an office of service within the church. Their role is varied depending on the church, the nation, and the unique approach of each ministry. In some cases, deacons receive payment. In other situations, it is seen as a volunteer position. Their general role is to “see to the practical and physical needs of church members.” Deacons assist bishops and priests, and they are the lowest order of these three groups. Some preach the homily, while others assist at the altar. Deacons may be authorized to baptize children, witness and bless marriages, and carry out a range of additional duties. 

How Do You Become a Deacon?

Deacons generally complete “formation programs.” This might involve baptism, registration, and a range of other requirements. In addition, formation programs can take five years to complete. 

Can People From Other Religions Become Deacons?

In order to become a Deacon, you must first convert to Catholicism. Generally speaking, this means leaving your former religion behind and embracing Catholicism as your main religion. Some religious teachings, such as Buddhism, may be followed simultaneously with Catholicism, however. This is because Buddhism makes it clear that you can follow its teachings while simultaneously being an “official” follower of another religion. 

This means that Jews, Muslims, and other religious individuals could potentially become Deacons in the future. One of the most recent examples of this is Shia LeBeouf, the Hollywood star known for classic films like Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Borg vs. McEnroe. Like many other Hollywood stars, Shia is also Jewish. Or at least, he was Jewish – until the New York Post reported that he had been confirmed into the Catholic church. The report stated that after converting to Catholicism, he also stated that he planned to eventually become a Deacon. 

If Shia eventually achieves this goal, he would not be the first Jew to become a Deacon. The Catholic Register reported that the son of Holocaust survivors eventually converted to Catholicism in 2009. He then went one step further in 2018, becoming a Deacon. 

Is Becoming a ULC Minister the Easiest Route to Becoming a Deacon?

Those who are attracted by the possibility of becoming a religious official might also consider a position as a minister or even a deacon within the Universal Life Church. This is a very popular route for people of all walks of life, and the ULC is incredibly accepting. Many people become ministers in order to legally marry other people, and the church does not discriminate based on faith. In other words, there is no need to renounce your existing religious beliefs or formally convert to a new religion before carrying out legal ceremonies. It is certainly a much easier process compared to becoming a deacon in the Catholic church. 

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