(A Deacon’s wife) also must be of good character and must not Gossip; (she) must be sober and honest in everything.”1 Timothy 3:11
Most deacons are married. A deacon’s wife plays an important support role during his years of formation and after ordination. So intimate is their partnership and unity in the sacrament of marriage, that the Church requires the wife’s consent before her husband can be ordained a permanent deacon.
One of the best opportunities to grow in her knowledge of the diaconate and its impact on her and her family is to participate in the formation program to the greatest extent possible. At the same time, her own spiritual growth is enhanced. After ordination, there are continuing opportunities available to the wives and widows, such as personal prayer, Scripture Study/Sharing Groups, participation in the ongoing Deacon Study Days, and Deacon, Wives and Widows Retreat. These are all great opportunities for prayer, study, sharing hospitality and community building.
In terms of official ministry, there is no specific role for the deacon’s wife. The deacon’s ordination does not confer any ministerial role to the deacon’s wife. Yet the unity of the deacon and his wife is a Sacramental sign to the entire parish of the unity of Christ with his Church. Many times the deacon’s wife serves the parish or local community in a concrete way herself. After ordination, the deacon and his wife may work together in various ways to build up the kingdom of God. The deacon and his wife can show how the obligations of family, work and ministry can be harmonized in the service of the Church’s mission.