Life, history of diaconate are explored in new book

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
A new book — “The Life and History of the Diaconate in the Archdiocese of Louisville” — chronicles the history of the permanent diaconate in central Kentucky.

The book was compiled by the spouses of several current and deceased deacons, including Fran Brown, Barbara Klump, Lillian Kramer, Teresa Nash and Cissy Raibert.

The project is meant to preserve the diaconate’s history and also to “serve as education tool” for parishioners throughout the archdiocese, said Brown in a recent interview.

Several wives of deacons were compiling information for those considering the diaconate when the idea of the book came up, Brown said.

“When we started looking at the history, there really was such a richness there,” Brown said. “Then we found out there was nothing really compiled that helped to retain all this history.”

The women worked on the project for more than two years, she noted.

Brown refers to a quote by St. Augustine of Hippo, which is featured in the book’s introduction, to sum up the intentions behind the book: “We live our lives forward, but understand only by looking back.”

The book is divided into two sections. Part one gives a detailed overview of the diaconate ministry in the archdiocese. It delves into the history and formation process and also includes reflections by deacons.

Part two chronicles the “life of the diaconate,” Brown said. It looks at the role of the women in the diaconate ministry.

Brown said she hopes readers will gain a deeper understanding of the diaconate and the role of the wives of deacons.

“I don’t really think people understand the diaconate very much, even though it’s been around a long time. I hope this will give insights to what it is and the relationship of the sacraments” of holy orders and matrimony, Brown said.

The book is available for sale for $15 per copy plus shipping. The books can also be ordered and picked up in person at the diaconate office. To place an order, contact the office at or 636-0296.

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