The deacon is ordained to serve the bishop in ministries of Word, liturgy, and charity. In addition to his service at a parish, a deacon often also exercises his ministry in other pastoral settings, such as prisons, jails, crisis centers, and juvenile centers.
Deacons officiate at baptisms, witness weddings, preside at funeral vigils and funerals. They may also preach.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has established the minimum age for ordination to the diaconate at 35. The maximum age for ordination is at the discretion of the diocesan bishop.
The program for diaconate formation in the Diocese of Gary is 6 years. This 6-year period consists of the three year Lay Ecclesial Ministry Program, followed by three years of diaconal formation.
- Year 1 – Lay Ministry
- Year 2 – Lay Ministry
- Year 3 – Lay Ministry
- Year 4 – Diaconate Formation
- Year 5 – Diaconate Formation
- Year 6 – Diaconate Formation
Diaconal formation is a comprehensive experience that involves four dimensions of growth – human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral. In addition to academic courses, deacon candidates work with a formation mentor, a spiritual director, and pastoral supervisors, who accompany the candidate in the process of discernment and formation.
Men interested in the diaconate should contact our Director of Diaconate Formation.