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Permanent Diaconate

After the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI formally implemented the renewal of the diaconate, which is an ordained ministry for men (married or single) who are called to serve the Church. Formation and ministry adhere to the requirements defined in the "National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and life of Permanent Deacons in the United States."

Considering becoming a permanent deacon?

A new deacon contingent entered formation in the fall of 2017, but we will likely not begin the next class until 2019.  In the meantime, the diocese continues to accept inquiries from men interested in the permanent diaconate. To be considered an applicant must be a Roman Catholic at least 30 years of age (minimum age for ordination is 35), who is an active member of his parish (located within the Diocese of Grand Rapids) with the support of his pastor. He must be in good health, of sound moral character, mature faith, regular practice in the sacramental life of the Church, and have a sense of vocation to service. If married, he must be in a valid Catholic marriage for a minimum of five years, have the support of his wife and family, and be in a strong, stable marriage. If unmarried, he must be willing and able to commit to celibacy.
Although an upper age limit for application has not been established, the expectation is that ordained deacons will have the health and energy to provide a minimum of ten years of ordained ministry to the Diocese of Grand Rapids.

To Apply

Please send inquiries and information to Deacon Jim Hessler. His contact information is shown below.
Photo coming soon!

Kim Keglovitz,, administrative assistant, ministry & life of permanent deacons & office of priestly vocations
Phone: 616-288-0910

Headshot: Deacon Jim Hessler Deacon Jim Hessler, director, diaconate formation
Phone: 616-288-0913
Headshot: Father Mark Przybysz

Rev. Mark Przybysz, director, ministry & life of permanent deacons
Phone: 616-288-0910



Read a Q&A with Deacon Jim Hessler in the June 2018 issue of FAITH Grand Rapids magazine
Called to Serve: The wait is over for three men to be ordained permanent deacons (FAITH Grand Rapids magazine, June 2017)