XO HanzaMy name is Bill Ditewig.  Born and raised, grounded and nurtured in a loving family in Peoria, Illinois, my Navy career and ministerial life has taken our family all over the world.  Thanks to the Navy, we quickly became island-dwellers, living on Cyprus, Guam, Hawai’i, and Okinawa, along with other duty stations in California, Texas, Rhode Island, Maine, Florida and several times to Washington, DC.  In the Navy I served for twenty-two years as cryptologist and linguist: for three years I was an enlisted Hebrew linguist; following commissioning as an officer, I eventually became a Russian linguist and served in various capacities ashore and in a variety of ships and squadrons.  I retired from the Navy as a Commander in 1993.

I was ordained a deacon for the Archdiocese of Washington, DC in 1990 while still on active duty, and my first three years as a deacon were spent serving the Air Force chapel community on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, while also serving as Executive Officer of the US Naval Security Group Activity at Hanza, Okinawa. Following retirement from active duty, I’ve served as associate principal of a Catholic High School, Director of Pastoral Services and Ministry Formation for the Dioceses of Davenport, Iowa and Belleville, Illinois.  I served as Executive Director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate for the Archdiocese of WashiBill Ditewig July 2009ngton, DC, and from 2002-2007, I served as Executive Director of the Secretariat for the Diaconate at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). For the last two of those years I concurrently served as Interim Executive Director of the Secretariat for Evangelization as well. For four years I was Professor of Theology and Director of the Graduate Program in Theology at Saint Leo University in Florida.  From 2011-2016 I served as Director of Faith Formation, Diaconate and Pastoral Planning for the Diocese of Monterey, while also teaching as Professor of Theology at Santa Clara University in California.  In January 2017, I returned to Florida, where I focus on writing, traveling to various places to speak on the diaconate, on the Church and sacraments, and teaching Theology and Religion at the University of South Florida, the Pontifical College Josephinum, and Chaminade University of Honolulu.

For the eight years of high school and college, I was a seminarian for the Diocese of Peoria.  I have the BA in Philosophy, an MA in Education, an MA in Pastoral Theology, and the Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.  Diann and I have been married for fifty years and we have four children and fourteen grandchildren!

20 comments on “About

  1. Roger F says:

    Just made my application for the permanent diaconate through Deacons Warren and Bill. Look forward to meeting you upon your return. Safe and sacred travels in Bella Roma.

  2. Bill, Thank you so much for your terrific review of my book. I appreciate it very. very much. Blessings on your work and ministry. Mickey McGrath

  3. You’re most welcome, Mickey. Love the book!

  4. […] William Ditewig is, as I describe him to others, “the deacon’s deacon.”  Led to his blog by a […]

  5. Jessica Z says:

    Dear Deacon William, I noticed that you have posted some great, and rather obscure, pictures of Blessed John XXIII on your website. May I ask where you obtained the photo of him visiting the little girl at the hospital? It is wonderful. I am working on a project for which I think it would be perfect. Any leads would be greatly appreciated.

  6. dantesvision says:

    I was in the Washington DC diaconate class of 2000 and you were our director for the first year or two. I hope you have good memories of that time and our class.

    Don S

  7. David Clark says:

    Have belatedly just finished reading ‘The Emerging Diaconate’ and, as a Methodist deacon in the UK, am very impressed. Sending by airmail a copy of my recent book ‘Building Kingdom Communities – with the diaconate as a new order of mission’ – enclosing papers on a similar theme written over the past ten years from a Noncomformist perspective – but I which I think have much in common with your own highly significant comments on the diaconal church. Have enlisted on your blog. Good wishes.

  8. Melinda says:

    When I was a 13 year old kid I was in your Order of Yo classes at Meade. I have six kids and philosophy degree now. My mom reminded me of your name recently and I want to thank you for having such a positive influence on me as a young teen.

  9. Seems cowardly that you closed comments on your most recent post when folks actually started to disagree with you… C’mon. Let the people you purport to speak for have their word.

  10. I closed comments when anonymous posters began getting obscene. Disagreement is fine, but so are standards of decency.

  11. Thank you for the courtesy, Father. And thank you for your reasoned and reasonable response.

  12. Timothy G. Wilkins says:

    Dear Deacon Bill; CDR Ditewig; Bill… ah the years serving with you in Okinawa are never far from my thoughts! Deacon Bill in Chapel, Bill when co-instructing Red Cross Life Guard Certification course, and absolutely CDR Ditewig while in Uniform at Hanza. A brief contact several years ago that I then failed to maintain moving forward – and now today a new effort to connect and remain so. Sir, you are the absolute perfect candidate to represent / accompany Archbishop Timothy Broglio at the Bishop’s Conference in Rome in February. As a Career USN Officer you understand and can provide invaluable, concrete knowledge on Leadership, Proper Conduct and Personal/Professional Accountability (a Catholic Bishop’s Fork and Knife School). You could assist or instruct / implement policies, procedures and requirements at ‘Command Level’ [Diocese, Archdiocese] [Metropolitan, even] from WITHIN because as a Lifelong Catholic and Permant Deacon since 1990 you are CATHOLIC. Your depth of understanding in the faith, laity, clergy, and religious coupled with a firm foundation in the structures and institutions of the Church will enable the swift implemetation of the Diectives and accompanying Intructions that will flow from the new Canon Laws or Papal Bulls that are sure to come in the near future. You are a humble man Bill. You have never forgotten your self, in any situation. You know Discipline, you are familiar with Captains’ and Admirals’ Mast and the necessary frameworks within which to hold Senior Officers [Archbishops, Bishops] accountable to specific criteria laid out to them. You also disciplined and rewarded junior officers, and all enlited ranks as necessary and approriate. CAVEAT: I am not implying we should turn the Vatican and the Universal Church into the U.S. Navy. I am saying that ‘what you are to the Navy is what you must be to the Church.’ Sincerely yours in Christ and in Catholic Brotherhood, Father Timothy G. Wilkins (Bishop elect) OCAC.

  13. Timothy G. Wilkins says:

    P.S. OCAC – Old Catholic Apostolic Church

  14. Deacon Mike Miller says:

    Deacon Bill, I have heard you speak several times at the DFMC conferences and have a lot of repect for your material and your knowledge. Once you wrote an artical for Deacon Digest on the proper procedures for mixing of the water in the chalice. Would it be possible to send me a copy of that article or something equivelent. We have 2 priests and 2 deacons in our parish and half mix the water in the primary chalice while the other half mixes it into the prinary chalice as well as the cups for distribution to the congregation. Is there a right way?

  15. Marybarbara Zorio says:

    Deacon Bill, A few years ago you were the director of our annual San Jose Diocese deacon retreat at El Retiro in Los Gatos. I currently serve as chairperson of our deacon board. We are in the process of exploring post ordination education opportunities for deacons and wives. I’m hoping you can direct me to a good resource that will help us in thoughtfully developing our program.

  16. TC says:

    I am a Youth Minister and was wondering what you think of Bishop McElroy statement that we shouldn’t put Abortion first but the world Climate? Your writings are fabulous and I’ve shared them with everyone.. especially what religion is..

  17. Thanks for your note. I’ve been traveling and want to re-read Bishop McElroy’s article more closely. But from a first read, I’m quite impressed, since he presents the issues as complex as they really are. We Catholics are not supposed to be single-issue voters, even when that single issue is abortion. What I read stresses that individual issues must be understood within the broader spectrum of Catholic moral teaching. I don’t know if this reply is helpful or not, but as I say, I’ve only just scanned his article.

  18. Deacon Thomas Bradley says:

    Deacon Bill, our first permanent deacons were ordained in June 1972. We have one living deacon from that cohort. I am trying to get in contact with the USCCB to see if we can get recognition and information on this 50th Anniversary milestone. Can you help?

  19. I’m not sure how best to contact you, so let me try this. Our new bishop recently told his first deacon assembly that deacons have a ministry, but do not have a religious vocation. Their vocation is to the married life. I’m not sure how to think about that, and whether you can really make the issue that black and white. Married deacons offer their marriage in service to their bishop. In addition, it leaves the question of single deacons, or for that matter, priests who are married in another tradition and become Catholic. Do they not have a religious vocation either. I would appreciate your thoughts, as I teach a course titled “Ministry and Life of the Deacon” to candidates. Thanks.

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