Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Frequently Asked Questions

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About Permanent Deacons


What is a permanent deacon?

The office and ministry of the permanent deacon is a distinctive vocation in the Catholic Church. Although the diaconate is an ordained ministry of the Church, it is a different ministry from that of priests.

Deacons are ordained into a ministry of service, and enjoy a special relationship with the bishop. The permanent diaconate provides a "greater and more direct presence of Church ministers in the various spheres of the family, work, school, etc., in addition to existing pastoral structures," according to Pope John Paul II.  

If I'm interested in being a permanent deacon, what should I do?

Contact your diocesan office of vocations or, if there is one, a diocesan office of the permanent diaconate. Saint Meinrad works with dioceses to establish its programs. The diocese identifies and accepts the candidates for the permanent deacon program. 

What dioceses does Saint Meinrad serve with its permanent deacon formation program?

Saint Meinrad offers aspirant, candidate and ongoing formation for a number of dioceses. The list of dioceses served changes each year. Check with your diocese to find out if a formation program is offered through Saint Meinrad at this time.

Where can I find more information about permanent deacons?

Visit the website of the Office of Clergy Consecrated Life and Vocations at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.