Who is the Deacon? He is a Minister of the Word; a Minister at the Altar; and a Minister of Charity

While all the baptized are called to share in the mission of Jesus Christ according to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, those who are ordained also offer service in a way proper to the Sacrament of Holy Orders. A deacon’s ministry entails proclaiming, preaching, and teaching God’s Word, assisting the bishop and priest at the Liturgy, assisting at funerals, ministering to the sick and dying, leading the community in prayer and in sacramental liturgies, baptizing, witnessing marriages, and exercising administrative leadership in the Church.


Are you discerning a call from God to be a permanent deacon? Want to learn more about the Permanent Diaconate?

Follow the steps below… 

    • Watch the 9-minute documentary on the Permanent Diaconate, “Called to Service.”
    • Watch the 17-minute video on who a deacon is, what a deacon does, and how a faithful Catholic man becomes a deacon.
    • Review the information on the School of Diaconal Formation’s webpage regarding training to become a deacon by clicking on the link below.
    • Speak to your pastor, and if married – to your wife – about your interest in discerning a call to the Permanent Diaconate. 
    • After all of these steps have been completed, if you feel that you are indeed being called by God to discern a vocation as a permanent deacon, then complete the application request form at the bottom of this page…or, call the Office for Clergy for more information. 

Please note that while applications are accepted at any time, those received after March 1 will not be considered for acceptance into the Aspirancy class for the upcoming academic year, which begins in late August, but will be held over for consideration regarding the Aspirancy class starting the following academic year.


A permanent deacon, who may be married, is a member of the clergy and shares in the hierarchy of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

By virtue of his ordination, the deacon assists the bishop and collaborates with his pastor in the service of the parish to which he is assigned. He is not a substitute for the priest, nor is he a lay liturgical minister. He is an ordained member of the clergy. And it is through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, that the deacon is configured to Christ the Servant.  It is Christ the Servant who acts through the ministry of the deacon.

Click here for more information about the School of Diaconal Formation Program 

Any questions or for more information contact:

Deacon Michael Pascarella, Jr.
Associate to the Vicar for Clergy
Office for Clergy
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1299

Main Office: 215-587-4532

Direct Line: 215-587-3883

Email: [email protected]


To request an application please complete all fields below:

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