"Where Do Deacons Come From?"

I’m delighted to report that a new book for children answers that question — and may answer it, too, for grown ups.  In fact, anyone who is curious about the married man with the angled stole who putters around the sacristy, baptizes babies and expounds every now and then from the pulpit should check out Elizabeth Ficocelli’s friendly primer, “Where Do Deacons Come From?”

It’s part of a very good series for young people that includes “Where Do Priests Come From?” and “Where Do Sisters Come From?”  And it answers that question — where do deacons come from?? — with clarity, sensitivity and an engaging sense of curiosity.  The first page of this slim book (14 pages in all, cheerfully illustrated by Shannon Wirrenga) sets the tone:

Do you ever wonder where deacons come from?

Do they grow on a farm?  No.  Are they made in a factory?  No.  Deacons come from God’s people.  They once were young boys, just like you.

As children, these boys played football, kickball and tag.  Some of them collected bus or traded baseball cards.  They may have dreamed of traveling, going to college, having a family, or starting a business.  As these young men grew and followed their dreams, they also held in their hearts a strong desire to serve Jesus and his Church.

This would be a wonderful tool for any catechetical program for schoolchildren — and a great gift for anyone in the family of a deacon or deacon candidate who might be wondering just what this vocation is all about.  My friend Deacon William Ditewig has said that the diaconate will only become fully accepted as a vocation when young people say, “When I grow up I want to be a deacon.”  This book could help make that a reality.

For information on how to order the book, visit the author’s website or the website of the publisher Bezalel Books. It’s also available via Amazon.com.

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  1. deaconnorb says:

    I’ll likely order several copies!

  2. deaconjohnmbresnahan says:

    I’m curious–when I was first ordained a deacon 30 years ago all that we used were the diagonal stole. But since then, even Rome has put out directives emphasizing the dalmatic and that, especially at Sunday Mass and on special occasions, the dalmatic should be emphasized.
    Since then, more and more churches have purchased sets of dalmatics to match priest’s chasubles.
    Does the book ever show deacons in dalmatics or explain what they are???
    I had a professor at the seminary that was really determined that deacons should wear dalmatics and priests chasubles.
    He was always saying that for a deacon or priest to appear in only an alb and stole means he is appearing in only his liturgical underwear.

  3. Deacon Greg Kandra says:


    Yes, the book does show a deacon in his dalmatic.

    You can read more about outerwear, and underwear, at Bill Ditewig’s joint. He goes on quite a rant about it. 😉

    Dcn. G.

  4. deaconnorb says:

    How about that!

    “My friend Deacon William Ditewig has said that the diaconate will only become fully accepted as a vocation when young people say, “When I grow up I want to be a deacon.” This book could help make that a reality.”

    In fact, that very thing happened to me. A 17 year old young man who will be starting his senior year at our local parochial high school told me — in the informality of a family picnic — that he wanted to be a married deacon when he grows up. I do plan on giving him one of those “Where do Deacons Come From?” books when they arrive.

    BTW: I ordered three: one for this young lad; one for our soon-to-be-ordained deacon candidate in the parish; and the other for my library.

  5. deaconnorb says:

    Today’s mail just arrived and my copies were in it. Delightful reading!

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