The first group of permanent deacons for the Diocese of Richmond were ordained in 2003. Since that that time, over 90 deacons have been ordained for service to the diocese. At present, there are nearly 140 permanent deacons in active ministry. Many retired deacons (those over 75 years of age) continue to serve. Currently, there are 15 men are in formation to become permanent deacons.
Every deacon is assigned by the bishop to a parish, where he exercises a liturgical and catechetical ministry. In addition, every deacon serves in a Ministry of Charity, which may or may not be associated with the parish where a deacon serves.
Examples of Ministries of Charity include service at hospitals, correctional facilities, pregnancy centers, nursing homes, homeless shelters, food pantries, fire and police department chaplaincies, institution for persons with disabilities and immigration services provider.
Continuing training and education is expected.
Permanent deacons are engaged in a wide variety of secular professions and represent the broad diversity of the diocese.
Formation of new cohorts is ongoing.