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Archdiocese of Hartford Coat of Arms
Conference of Deacons

What is it?

The Conference of Deacons is composed of all deacons in the Archdiocese of Hartford. Deacons are members simply by virtue of their ordination. You cannot not be a member. Participation, though, is completely optional.

What is the structure of the Conference?

The reporting structure of the diaconate looks like this:
  1. Archbishop
  2. Director of Deacons
    1. Council of the Conference of Deacons (CCOD)
      • The CCOD is composed of deanery leadership
      • CCOD leadership is elected by CCOD members for two-year terms
    2. Deanery Leadership
    3. Deacons

What is the mission of the CCOD?

The mission of the CCOD is twofold:
  1. To advise the Director of Deacons about what's going on in the lives of deacons and their families, and to advise deaneries about what's going on in the life of the larger church that affects them.
  2. To propose projects to be undertaken to address issues and opportunities that affect the diaconate in general. With the approval of the director, projects are launched and managed to conclusion. Current projects are:

    • Vocations - please check out our new invitation flyer! Feel free to use it to invite men to help discern a vocation to the diaconate.
    • Spirituality - you're cordially invited to the new Deacon Spiritual Fraternity at Holy Crfoss Church, New Britain, that meets the last Tuesday of every month, from 7-9 PM. We do lectio divina and centering prayer together, and offer prayers for special intentions of which we are aware.
    • Deanery Revitalization - stay tuned!
The CCOD doesn't share the director's authority, and has no directive authority with regard to any particular deacon. Its role is simply to be an information conduit and a project management resource.

What can the CCOD do?

The CCOD can:
  1. Disseminate information to deanery leadership, and to collect it from the deacons in their deaneries.
  2. Help deacons implement the principal of subsidiarity. This term means that the church addresses its issues at the lowest level at which they can be properly addressed. If resolution cannot be had, the issues is passed up the hierarchy. If an issue or opportunity has impact or applicability beyond the local venue, deacons may choose to present the issue or opportunity to the director through the CCOD. This simply means that other deaneries get to look at the item too, instead of it being a private conversation with the director, or no conversation at all. It's left to the judgment of the deacon(s) who want to raise the issue or opportunity whether a direct or a broad approach would be most suitable.
  3. Manage projects. The CCOD has access to excellent project management skills and has a small budget. It can get things done.
  4. CCOD members act as liaison between the diocesan deacon organization and the National Association of Diaconate Directors (NADD).

What can the CCOD not do?

The CCOD cannot:
  1. Intervene to solve local problems
  2. Change diaconate policy all on its own
  3. Authorize expenditures or activities aside from its own
  4. Reassign you, or provide input to that process
  5. Make the director, let alone the vicar for priests or the archbishop, do anything

How do I get to be on the CCOD?

Become a deanery leader. Then you're on the CCOD whether you like it or not!

I'm not a deanery leader, but I have something to say. How do I deal with this group?

Your voice is important, and there are a number of ways to have it heard. You can:
  1. Show up at a meeting in person. Current and recent agendas are here. All deacons are always welcome. Please e-mail the president about your intentions, so that we can have enough chairs, donuts and coffee in place for everyone. We follow Robert's Rules of Order and expect attendees to honor the process.
  2. Comment on the minutes by e-mail, phone, USPS mail or in person
  3. Talk to your deanery leader and have him bring your thoughts forward
  4. Call or e-mail the CCOD president (see contact information below)
In short, if you want to share an idea, raise an issue, spread some news of general interest, offer something good (workshops, spiritual resource, ministry tips...) to your brother deacons and their families, think of the CCOD as a way to get it done.

For What It's Worth...

Some thoughts and issues that have been raised in the past have generated no traction in the diocese, and frankly never will. To avoid frustration, we offer a few examples to you in the spirit of brotherly love:
  1. Assuming clerical dress (Roman collars, birettas...)
  2. Changing Canon Law so we can perform the Sacrament of the Sick or transubstantiate
  3. ...any other modification that crosses the boundary between what it means to be a priest and what it means to be a deacon
Contact Information
Current CCOD President
(9/2012-5/2014)
Dcn. Stephen Yatcko
Address 255 Still Hill Road
Hamden, CT 06518
Phone (203) 248-6958
E-mail syatcko@aol.com