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Permanent deacons to wear clerical attire when ministering Print
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 -- 12:00 AM
Permanent deacons in the Diocese of Madison will be permitted to wear a grey clerical shirt and white collar when engaged in diaconal ministry as of January 23. (Contributed photo)

MADISON -- In an effort to help permanent deacons in the Diocese of Madison become more easily identified as they minister, Bishop Robert C. Morlino has given permission that all permanent deacons in the diocese will be permitted to wear a grey clerical shirt and white collar when actively engaged in diaconal ministry.

The permission is effective January 23.

“In my interaction with the permanent diaconate formation program in the Diocese of La Crosse, I learned that many dioceses have adopted guidelines for permitting deacons to wear clerical attire when they are exercising their ministry in an official capacity,” said Fr. Michael Radowicz, director of the permanent diaconate in the Diocese of Madison.

“People often respond to you differently when they see the collar, and that is especially so when the setting is pastoral, such as in a hospital, nursing home, or prison,” said Father Radowicz.

According to paragraph 89 of the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Each diocesan bishop should . . . specify the appropriate clerical attire if it is to be worn.”

“Priests are traditionally identified with a black clerical shirt and collar. In order to clearly distinguish permanent deacons from the priests of the diocese, we elected to permit the color of grey for the permanent deacons,” explained Father Radowicz.

“When the laity encounter someone wearing a grey clerical shirt and collar, they will be able to easily identify the man as a permanent deacon,” he said.

The effective permission given by the bishop authorizes permanent deacons to wear clerical attire when engaged in ministry; however, it is not a requirement. Permanent deacons may still elect to wear civilian attire if they choose.

 
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