The Second Vatican Council committed the Catholic Church to the service of the world when it defined the church to be missionary by nature and a sacrament pointing to and making Christ present to all. Such a vision of the church informed the restoration of the permanent diaconate within the ministerial life of the church--a vocation and participation in Holy Orders endowed precisely with the charism of service. Deacons are called and ordained to serve in the areas of sacrament, word, and charity. This work considers the place and role of deacons in the life of the contemporary church through the lens of the ecclesiological reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Via their preaching, teaching, and sacramental ministry, deacons are uniquely gifted and positioned to empower the lay faithful and advance the church's engagement with the world, commitment to ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, promotion of peace, and championing of human dignity. ""Michael J. Tkacik's Deacons and Vatican II serves as a must-read not only for deacons, but for all who seek understanding of that momentous church council, especially the council's challenge that all Christians are to serve in diverse ways. Tkacik's theological insights reflect his many years of conciliar scholarship and of teaching diakonia among diaconal candidates. This work also includes a current analysis of Pope Francis' teachings on diakonia."" --James T. Cross, Asst. Professor of Theology, Saint Leo University ""The restoration of the permanent diaconate by the Second Vatican Council is a significant part of preparing churches for a renewed apostolate in today's divided world. This well-crafted book will appeal not only to deacons but to bishops and laity in all Christian denominations, whether of conservative or liberal bent."" --Richard Penaskovic, Emeritus Professor, Auburn University ""In this important work, Dr. Tkacik provides profound insights into the historical and theological roots of the permanent diaconate in building up a servant church. This book is a gift to all who seek a deeper understanding of ecclesial servanthood."" --Deacon John Alvarez, Director of Diaconal Formation, Diocese of St. Petersburg ""Michael Tkacik's latest work is a powerful contribution to the theological literature on the diaconate. It is especially valuable as the renewed diaconate celebrates the first fifty years of its restoration as a permanent order of ministry in the life of the church. Dr. Tkacik's keen analysis, pastoral sensitivity, and ecclesial vision offer both challenge and encouragement for the ongoing development of a truly diaconal ecclesiology, a truly servant church."" --William Ditewig, Executive Professor of Theology at Santa Clara University ""Deacons and students will enjoy reflecting on Vatican II with a highly favored professor as he looks back on years of teaching and looks ahead to years of continued renewal in the diaconate ministry."" --Thomas L. Humphries, Jr., Saint Leo University Michael J. Tkacik is Associate Professor of Theology at Saint Leo University in Florida. Dr. Tkacik has also served as the Secretary for Ministries for the Diocese of St. Petersburg. He holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Auburn University, an MA in Theology from Providence College, and a PhD in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University. His professional interests include the sacramentology and ecclesiology of Vatican II, ecumenism, and interreligious dialogue.