Permanent Deacons in the Archdiocese
The first permanent deacons of the Archdiocese of Washington were ordained in 1971. Since that time, nearly 400 permanent deacons have been ordained for service to the archdiocese. At present, nearly 140 permanent deacons are in active ministry. Many retired deacons continue to serve, as well.
The Archdiocese of Washington’s permanent deacons are engaged in a variety of secular professions and represent the broad ethnic diversity of the Archdiocese.
Every permanent deacon of the Archdiocese is assigned by the archbishop to a parish, where he exercises a liturgical and catechetical ministry. In addition, every deacon is also assigned to a particular “Ministry of Charity and Justice,” which may or may not be associated with the parish where a deacon serves.
Examples of ministries of charity and justice include service at hospitals, correctional facilities, pregnancy centers, nursing homes, homeless shelters, food pantries, fire and police department chaplaincies, institutions for persons with disabilities and immigration services providers.
Many permanent deacons have received special training to serve as masters of ceremony at Masses celebrated by auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese. In this capacity, they are often visible at parish celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation.