Bishop Conlon Calls March 09

Call to the Permanent Diaconate


“Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ fee and dry them with a towel. …After he washed their feet, …he said to them, … ‘If I washed your feet—I who am teacher and lord—then you must wash each other’s feet.’” 
          Every Christian is bound to follow the Lord’s example. But he has set among us a few in the order of deacon who are special models of service. Deacons are intended to inspire and facilitate the service of their brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. That is their unique calling and charism.
          Although the Diocese of Steubenville has benefited from the ministry of several deacons for a number of years, we have not had a formal program of calling and forming candidates. By God’s grace and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we are now able to initiate such a program.
          Any man who feels that he may be called to the diaconate and wishes to apply for admission at this time should contact his parish pastor to obtain information about the formation program and an application packet.
          Applications must be received by the Diaconate Ministry Office by May 1.
          The task of discerning the call to the diaconate and then forming candidates is serious and arduous, both for the candidates and those who guide them. Prayer support from all the people of our diocese during the next four years, until the first group of deacons is ordained, is essential.