History of the Diaconate
Since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) proposed restoring the permanent diaconate, the evolution of its role and formation in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has come a long way.
In 1967, Pope Paul VI called for a restoration of the permanent diaconate within the Latin rite Church.
When a formal, reformed permanent diaconate program was initiated in the Diocese, Catholic men went through a formation program.
Since then, the program has gradually expanded to four and one-half years of formation, plus ongoing post-ordination formation.
Those changes signify a big difference in the diaconate compared with over 40 years ago.
There currently are 58 active deacons ordained for the Diocese; about 90 percent of them are married. There also are 14 retired deacons.
Permanent deacons are ordained ministers who exercise a ministry of liturgy, word and charity. Many earn faculties to preach homilies at Mass. Preaching by deacons at Mass has increased in recent years.
Deacons serve in parishes, hospitals and diocesan agencies, among other areas. Many continue to work full-time jobs and balance their family lives and professions with their ministry as a deacon.
Contact the Diaconate Office
- Reverend Charles N. Rowe, STD, Vicar for Clergy
- Deacon Paul Muller, Director of Diaconate Program
- Reverend Joseph Cisetti, Director of Spiritual Formation
- Reverend Ronald Elliott, Director of Deacons
- Deacon Ken Albers, Assistant Director-Candidates
- Deacon Mike Lewis, Assistant Director-Ordained
- Deacon Jim Olshefski, Assistant Director-Candidates
- Deacon John Wichmann, Assistant Directory – Formation
- Sarah Larson, Administrative Assistant to the Vicar General for Pastoral Affairs