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Permanent Diaconate

After the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI formally implemented the renewal of the diaconate, which is an ordained ministry for men (married or single) who are called to serve the Church. Permanent deacons serve the Church in rich and varied ways through ministry of the Word, sacrament and charity and justice.

Do you feel called to the permanent diaconate?

The process of forming the next cohort of permanent deacons is underway, with new cohorts beginning every other year after spring 2019. To be considered, an applicant must be a Roman Catholic man at least 35 years of age, an active member of his parish, and live within the diocese. He must be in good health, of sound moral character, mature faith, regular practice in the sacramental life of the Church, and have a sense of vocation to service. If married, he must be in a strong, valid, Catholic marriage for a minimum of five years and have the support of his wife and family. If unmarried, he must be willing and able to commit to celibacy. Applicants should be no older than in their early sixties.
Those admitted should be prepared to commit themselves to the formation process for at least the next four years, beginning in the fall of 2019. Applicants should have a substantial history of active service to their parish, have the written approval of their pastor, and meet various other admission requirements. There are no special educational requirements.
The deadline for inquiries is March 2019.

For more information and/or to apply:

Contact the Office of Diaconate Formation: 616-288-0910
Image: Kim Keglovitz

Kim Keglovitz,, administrative assistant, ministry & life of permanent deacons & office of priestly vocations
Phone: 616-288-0910

Headshot: Deacon Jim Hessler Deacon Jim Hessler, director, diaconate formation
Phone: 616-288-0913
Headshot: Father Mark Przybysz

Rev. Mark Przybysz, director, ministry & life of permanent deacons
Phone: 616-288-0910



Read a Q&A with Deacon Jim Hessler in the June 2018 issue of FAITH Grand Rapids magazine
Called to Serve: The wait is over for three men to be ordained permanent deacons (FAITH Grand Rapids magazine, June 2017)