What is a Deacon?

A deacon is an ordained leader in the Church, serving as a prophetic, insistent voice that calls the attention of the Church to the needs of the world.

The deacon serves as a bridge between Church and world, sending the people out at the end of the liturgy into the world to live out their baptismal ministry. Deacons bring the needs of the world to the attention of the Church. They make certain that the marginalized people in our society are remembered in the Prayers of the People. They organize outreach efforts in parishes. They raise questions: Why are people homeless and hungry? Why are our city streets places of danger for our young people? What can we do about it?

Deacons serve in parishes, most often the parishes that nominated them for ordination. However, they are not paid for their service there. They support themselves by work in the world.

The Rev. Sue Nebel, Deacon
Member of the Deacon Leadership Team

To learn more about qualifications the Diocese of Chicago is seeking, download the “What We’re Looking for in a Deacon” resource in English or Spanish and the Deacon Discernment Packet. An overview and timeline of the ordination process are also available.

For more information about the ordination process, please contact Louisa McKellaston at 312.751.4214.

Learn more about the work of deacons in our diocese and in the wider church.