The national directory addresses the dimensions and perspectives in the formation of deacons and the model standards for the formation, ministry and life of deacons in the United States.
It is intended for preparing or updating a diaconate program in formulating policies for the ministry and life of deacons.
The National Directory was approved by the bishops in June 2003, and received the subsequent "recognition" of the Holy See. About 15,000 deacons minister in the United States.
Twice before, in 1971 and again in 1984, the bishops promulgated guidelines for the formation of deacons in the United States.
"This is more than a simple set of guidelines to be followed for the formation of deacons," said Deacon William Ditewig, executive director of the bishops' Secretariat for the Diaconate. "Rather, it describes how the diaconate itself participates in the very sacramental nature of a sacramental church."
The 240-page paperback sells for $19.95.