Almost 15,000 Deacons Active in U.S. Church

The number of permanent deacons in the Catholic Church in the United States continues to rise, according to a national survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, at Georgetown University. Nationally there are more than 18,000 deacons, about 3,000 of them retired. Many permanent deacons hold jobs outside of the ministry. An estimated 21 percent of active permanent deacons are also compensated for ministry. A small percentage of deacons work full-time in pastoral care in a parish or at a social services agency. Ninety-three percent of active deacons are currently married; 4 percent are widowers and 2 percent never married. About a quarter are in their 50s; 43 percent are in their 60s; and 25 percent are 70 or older. “The statistics are encouraging,” said Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “But they also alert us to the fact many of the deacons will soon reach retirement age. This suggests a need for bishops to recruit a greater number of men to join the ranks of the permanent diaconate.”

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John Placette
5 years 2 months ago
On January 26, 2013, Daniel Cardinal Dinardo, of the Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston ordained 29 men into Holy Orders for the Permanent Diaconate. I am one of these men. At our annual Deacon's Convocation last Saturday, we were told by our Director, Deacon Gerald DuPont, that this ordination of 29 actually only netted 5 Deacons for the Archdiocese. We have Deacons retiring, or passing away, almost as fast as they can be formed. Please pray more men will accept the call!
Patrick Green
3 years 4 months ago
Dioceses must begin actively recruiting and holding more frequent formation programs, deaths and retirements will soon outpace new ordinations.ayachtchartersplit.com
Mike Evans
5 years 2 months ago
Our parish has three deacons, one is now retired and incapacitated, one is on limited duty, and our most recently ordained one is approaching his 70's. Unless dioceses begin actively recruiting and holding more frequent formation programs, deaths and retirements will soon outpace new ordinations. Meanwhile the shortage of priests is greater and greater as well as the number of foreign born serving now and into the future. Deacons are often the language and basic bridge for the laity to interact with their parish priest.
Craig McKee
5 years 2 months ago
Stop the games! There is not one good DOGMATIC reason the catholic church or the usccb can continue to muster in an effort to theologically or canonically deny full presbyteral ordination to any of these men - or to the women they are married to, for that matter. America's parishes deserve another 18,000 priests. America's catholics need the access to regular Eucharistic liturgies that these 18,000 deacons could provide. It's about SERVICE not OFFICE! Sidenote: Has anyone compiled statistics to find out how many priests are working alongside these permanent deacons? Now that would be an interesting statistic...Are these deacons actually functioning as autonomous community leaders, or are they merely "father's little helpers" on the weekends?
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