Status of the Diaconate in the United States

I ran across a very interesting article today from The Catholic World Reporter (www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/976/servants-of-the-lord.aspx) looking at the permanent diaconate in the United States.

It is well worth your time to read. It discusses the differences in the prevalence of the diaconate in various dioceses throughout the country, as well as some differing thoughts among diocesan officials as to the reasons for the diaconate in their local churches.

Some interesting highlights:

1. The twenty most “deacon rich” dioceses (the number of deacons to Catholics) statistically show no conflict between fostering the diaconate and fostering of priestly vocations. Seven of those twenty “deacon rich” dioceses also had the highest ratio of seminarians to Catholics.

2. Five of the twenty “deacon poor” dioceses are also among the twenty dioceses with the lowest ratio of seminarians to Catholics.

3. Bishops and other diocesan officials of deacon-rich dioceses attribute their high numbers to pastoral need and active recruitment.

4. The United States has 46% of all the permanent deacons worldwide. The Archdiocese of Chicago leads the U.S. in number of deacons (643) with Galveston-Houston coming in a distant second  at 386. Twenty dioceses have 200 or more deacons in them.

5. The Archdiocese of Chicago has more deacons than in all of Africa and Asia combined.

6. The future is bright for the diaconate, and is one of the shining successes of Vatican II.

To all my deacon brothers, ad multos annos!

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.
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