Deacons help to heal

Deacons engage in many forms of service. In Part 2 of a new video series showing aspects of their ministry through the Works of Mercy, Deacon Tony Giordano helps to heal.

Catholic men are invited to learn more about the formation program for permanent deacons, with Bishop Zubik calling for a new class of deacons to serve the diocese.

Three information sessions for prospective applicants will be held at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 2900 Noblestown Road, Pittsburgh 15205:

  • Sat. July 24, from 9 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Thurs. July 29, from 6:30 – 9 p.m.
  • Tues. Aug. 3, from 6:30 – 9 p.m.

Married men may become permanent deacons, and spouses are encouraged to attend the sessions.

Like bishops and priests, deacons are ordained ministers of the Catholic Church, with a special calling to perform works of charity and service, and assist in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church.

“Many people associate deacons just with the liturgical functions they perform—assisting at Mass, preaching, presiding at baptisms, etc., but diaconal ministry is actually so much more,” said Deacon Stephen Byers, director of the diocesan office for deacon personnel and the deacon formation program.

“Deacons might be found providing pastoral care in hospitals and nursing homes, jails and prisons, food pantries and soup kitchens; working with immigrants, youths and young adults, those in special need; and sharing the faith by evangelizing and teaching in RCIA, religious education, and sacramental preparation programs,” he said.

“I like to say that anywhere and everywhere people are in need of the Gospel and the love of Jesus Christ is where deacons belong.”

An applicant for the formation program may be a married or single Catholic man between the ages of 30 and 59, a college graduate with a secure job or source of income, and in full communion with the Catholic Church. Additional criteria for application will be discussed at the information sessions.

To begin the process, a nomination by an applicant’s pastor or by another priest or deacon of the diocese is required by September 1. More information is available at