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Posted August 28, 2007

The Latest on the Permanent Diaconate

Taken from the CARA Report
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The number of permanent deacons in the U.S. Catholic Church continues to increase and now totals an estimated 16,661, of whom 78 percent are still in active ministry. This is among the results of CARAís second annual survey of diocesan diaconate offices for the USCCB Secretariet for the Diaconate. This yearís survey resulted in responses from 107 of 194 or 55 percent of U.S. dioceses and eparchies.

Among the major findings:

Dioceses with the greatest number of permanent deacons are Chicago (632), Galveston-Houston (454), and Trenton (418). Those with the most deacons per 1,000 Catholics are Van Nuys-Byzantine (2.79), Fairbanks (2.06), Newton-Melkite (1.80), and Amarillo (1.66).

Ninety-three percent of active deacons are married and 4 percent are widowed. Twenty-five percent are age 70 or older, 36 percent are in their 60s, 29 percent are in their 50s, 10 percent are in their 40s, and 1 percent are age 39 or younger.

By race/ethnicity, 81 percent of active deacons are non-Hispanic white, 15 percent are Hispanic/Latino, 2 percent African American/black, 1 percent are Asian, and 1 percent are Native American or some other race or ethnicity.

More than half of active deacons (54 percent) have at least a bachelorís degree and 19 percent have a masterís degree, one in three is in religious studies, theology, or another ministry-related area.

About four in ten active deacons are paid for their ministry in a parish (11 percent full-time and 30 percent part-time). More than a third of deacons work full-or part-time in secular occupations.