Deacons comfort the sorrowful

Deacons engage in many forms of service. In Part 4 of a new video series showing aspects of their ministry through the Works of Mercy, Deacon Rick Cessar helps to comfort the sorrowful.

Deacon Rick Cessar says serving in the workplace is a “ministry of the moment.”

“People come to you in the very moment when they are suffering,” he said. “The most important thing that I have learned to do over the years is to listen. Secondly, I don’t have all the answers. I tell people they have to pray to God.”

Deacon Cessar’s ministry, which often entails comforting the sorrowful, is featured in this week’s Works of Mercy video, highlighting Bishop David Zubik’s call for a new class of applicants to the Deacon Formation Program in the diocese.

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

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 Church. Additional criteria will be discussed at the information sessions.

More information is available at