Learn more about becoming a deacon

Deacons engage in many forms of service. In Part 3 of a new video series showing aspects of their ministry through the Works of Mercy, Deacon Greg Jelinek helps to teach the uninformed.

The first of three information sessions begins in three weeks for Catholic men interested in learning about the formation program for permanent deacons.

Bishop David Zubik is calling for a new class of applicants to the program and will do so again in alternating years with the easing of restrictions related to the pandemic.

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

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.

Deacons assist priests at Mass, preach on occasion, and preside as needed at baptisms, weddings, funeral services and other liturgical functions. They also provide pastoral care to people in hospitals and nursing homes, jails and prisons, and in various other settings, sharing the faith by word and example.

Pope Francis met recently with permanent deacons in Rome, along with their families, and spoke about the importance of their ministry: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2021-06/pope-francis-audience-rome-diocese-permanent-deacons-humble-serv0.html

An applicant for the formation program may be a 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 www.diopitt.org/permanent-diaconate.