Called to Serve: 50th Anniversary of the Permanent Diaconate

NEW ORLEANS (CNS) — The core vocational work of permanent deacons is to evangelize and care for others, not to perform office duties, the apostolic nuncio to the United States said July 22 to more than 1,300 deacons attending the 2018 National Diaconate Congress in New Orleans.

In his post-Communion remarks at the opening Mass of the five-day gathering, Archbishop Christophe Pierre noted that St. John Paul II had declared that the “service of diaconal ministry finds its identity in evangelization.”

In his homily at the opening Mass, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond stressed the deacon’s role in being the “conscience” of the church in matters of service to the poor and disenfranchised.

“All Christians are called to charity by their baptism, but deacons lead us as a church in the works of charity,” he said. “We look to you in some ways as the conscience of the church. We ask you to find those who are in need and to invite us to serve them. And when we forget them or fail to be people of charity as a church, we ask you to be our conscience and to call us back to what God asks.”

For more information about the Diaconate call 856-583-2858 or email

For a brief video from the USCCB: