Permanent Diaconate

If you feel that God is calling you to the Diocesan Diaconate, then let us help you discern that Vocation.

What is a deacon?

Deacons are ordained members of the clergy who promise to obey their bishop. Besides human and spiritual qualifications, they must undergo a year of aspirancy, three years of rigorous study and pastoral ministry, and undergo scrutiny and discernment by the Church. Like priests, they can preach, teach, lead prayer, baptize and witness weddings, although they cannot celebrate Mass or forgive sins. They are often involved in counseling as well as visiting the sick. Unlike most priests, they may be married men. The minimum age for ordination to the diaconate is 35.

What is formation like?

Every four years, the diocese welcomes a new class of deacons. These candidates for the diaconate spend four years participating in lectures, on-line learning, and pastoral work. Classes are be taught at college graduate level with homework, and wives are encouraged to attend as well.  There are also some workshops, annual retreats, meetings, and more.

Currently, 21 aspirants are in formation for the permanent diaconate in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

How do I discern?

Every four years, as the diocese prepares to welcome a new class, pastors throughout the diocese are encouraged to speak with and facilitate the discernment of men of deep and proven faith, integrity and character who profess an interest in serving the Church as a deacon and who meet other requisite criteria. If you are discerning a vocation to the diaconate, speak with your pastor for guidance.

For more information, contact
Deacon Stanley LeMieux
Director of Formation for the Permanent Diaconate
[email protected]