Deacon Q

Some questions I am curious about:

*How many hrs/week does a deacon put in?

Do they hold full-time jobs while active?

Are you allowed to have a family (have children) while active?

Who typically pays for the education? Do Archdiocese typically have classes to minimize the costs incurred?*

Rough estimates to the answers is all I’m looking for. Kindly - Thank you.

  1. It depends on the ministry of the Deacon and the size of the parish. Some (if not most) Deacons have some sort of ministry outside of the parish, this could include visiting hospitals or prisons. It could be working with a soup kitchen or pregnancy center. So it will vary by Deacon or the mininistry

  2. Generally yes, either that or they are retired from their jobs. They have to eat and pay bills too :wink:

  3. Yes, they take a vow of celibacy that takes effect if\when their wife dies. I know a Deacon who baptized his own child. :thumbsup:

  4. That might vary by Diocese. Here in the Archdiocese of Detroit a man who is interested pays for his classes while the application and evaluation is in progress. After he is accepted into the program, the Archdiocese will pay for the classes for him and his wife.


Thank you. So someone in their 30’s who is wanting to maintain a full-time job and grow a family; is it reasonable to get accreditted for it and do discernment?



Yes it is.

I was in my late 30’s when I began formation. I had 4 kids at the time.

But with that said, when child 5 came along, my wife and I determined (along with the Diaconal formation staff) that now would not be the time to continue, my wife needed me in the pew with her and the kids more than the bishop needed me as a Deacon.

That particular discernment continued with child #6 came along a year and a half ago

So it might be awhile before I continue.

Absolutely, a man in these circumstances may discern with his wife and (arch) diocese whether this is his call.

Thank you Brendan and SempSempter for your responses. I appreciate it.

I would just say that each dioceses has its own rules about who is admitted to the programs. In some cases they may express a preference for older men who no longer have young children. (Obviously they cannot expect a fertile couple to refrain from having more children.)

Some dioceses expect the wife to attend some/most/all of the classes along with the man.

So you need to check to see what the expectations are in your own diocese.

My husband just started his second year of discernment. I’m extremely proud of him & feel honored to be the wife of a man chosen for this vocation.

It’s very important to note that these men are called to this vocation by the Holy spirit… it’s really not something you wake up one morning & decide you want to be a deacon.

How did your husband know he was called? Was he guided to it overtime? Thank you.


It was over time… I’d say a few years. Seems like it was all he could think about. He researched it (the diaconate program is making a come back in the Catholic faith), and prayed… lots! He spoke to a few ordained deacons & some priest friends and they all prayed for discernment for him.

Then our diocese re-opened the program & he put in his application. We both had multiple questions tests to take (lasted several hours) and then we had to meet with a psychologist to asses our situation.

He was accepted in the program but the first 2 years are still considered discernment. Next year the Bishop will evaluate his progress, will meet with him & then decide if he should continue for the next 2 years & be ordained.

Oh, and I have to give written permission for him to continue!

It’s quite the journey & I do some blogging about it…

God Bless!

Plenty of information here.


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