Become a Deacon

Deacons are ordained to serve in the archdiocese as animators and promoters of the church’s call to charity and justice. The ministries of the deacon are Love and Justice, the Word of God, and the Liturgy.

The diaconate is open to men who are single or married and are at least 32 years old. Deacons may have families and hold full-time jobs in addition to offering their services to the church.

The Ministry Formation Institute in the John Paul II Center continues the preparation of men to serve, as Christ served. The program offers academic, pastoral, spiritual and human formation.

Wives of aspirants and deacon candidates participate in a Wives Formation Program throughout the course of their spouse’s formation.

The process of discernment for the Diaconate begins long before any formal contact with the program at Ministry Formation Institute. Those considering the Diaconate first should reflect on their qualities and qualifications, and decide whether they are suited to serve.

Visit the Diaconte area of the John Paul II Center website, a part of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

As you explore the discernment of becoming a diaconate:
  • Make discernment of diaconate part of your daily prayer.
  • Discuss the topic with your spouse and/or significant people in your life.
  • Discuss the topic with your pastor and parish staff.
  • Make contact with a deacon or deacon couple to hear their story and share yours.
  • Read about the theology of diaconate, ministry and life of deacons.
  • Use the admissions criteria as a guideline for your discernment only after you have spoken with the program director or coordinator.
Are you a potential candidate for the Diaconate?
  • The Archdiocese of Milwaukee looks for the following qualities:
  • Solid faith in God and God’s redemptive concern for humankind.
  • Deep love for the Church, an understanding and adherence to her teaching, and an appreciation of her role in the world.
  • Mature vocational call and spiritual development.
  • Recommendation, approval and support of one’s parish leadership community.
  • Understanding and willingness to accept the demands of the formational program and lifelong commitment to diaconal ministry.
  • Understanding and approval from applicant’s spouse (if married).
  • Record of service, with some demonstrated leadership roles, within the Church and community.
  • Public speaking ability; potential / aptitude for preaching, catechizing, evangelization.
  • At least 32 years and no more than 60 years old at ordination.
  • Active and full participation in the Catholic Faith, especially in Sunday Eucharist.
  • Sufficient economic security and job stability.
  • Baptism, Confirmation and Marriage (if married) all within the Catholic Church
  • Mature, growing marriage (married at least five years) or commitment to celibate single life-style.
  • Good health.
  • Personal maturity / psychological stability.
  • Desire and ability to work collaboratively with others.
  • Openness to ongoing personal and spiritual growth and challenge.
  • Ability to handle college-level work and function in an adult-learning environment.
  • Growing understanding of the ministry, theology and role of the deacon.


For more information, contact our parish Deacon.