WHAT IS A DEACON?
A deacon in the Catholic Church is an ordained minister. Deacons have a three-fold ministry:
Ministry of Charity – serving people in need
Ministry of the Word – to live the Gospels daily through action, prayer, study and preaching.
Ministry of Liturgy – serving at the altar, including performing baptisms, witnessing marriages and officiating at funerals.
Deacons may be single or married and must be at least 31 years old at the time of ordination. There is no upper limit for age at this time in the Des Moines diocese, however the expectation for ongoing service is ten years after ordination.
The diaconate program is a process of formation that brings reality to a man’s call to the Church and the Church’s call to the man. The program is a 4-plus year process where academics, spirituality, community and self-awareness are developed and heightened with resulting in ordination and the life-long commitment to serve the Church. More specifically, the program is structured as follows:
Seven months of call/application/inquiry/discernment (May through November)
Six months of aspirancy/discernment (December through June)
Three years candidacy/discernment (August through June each year)
Each of the years of candidacy includes one weekend per month (Friday evening through Sunday noon) at Conception Seminary, one Saturday per month in the diocese, one weekend retreat and a seven-day summer session at Conception Seminary.
Community 13, a group of 13 men from across the diocese, was ordained to the permanent diaconate on Aug. 14, 2010. Click here to see some of the pictures.
A new formation group start on the above schedule in September, 2010. If you have an interest in discerning your call to service please contact the office with your name and contact information.