Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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Permanent Diaconate

The applicant for the diaconate in the Diocese of Richmond should be a man who:

  • Is fully initiated in the Roman Catholic Church. (Baptized, Eucharist, Confirmed)
  • Has been a Roman Catholic for a minimum of five years at time of application.
  • Is a U.S. citizen or a legal, permanent resident at the time of admission with a working knowledge of English.
  • Is committed to and lives out Gospel values of justice, charity and service and habit of prayerful disposition.
  • Possess stability in his life regarding career, family relationships, etc., which is in concert with the Church’s values.
  • Possesses financial security with a history of steady employment in a position that does not require frequent travel or reassignment.
  • Enjoys good physical and mental health with no condition that would impede diaconal ministry.
  • Is a registered parishioner within the Diocese of Richmond for five years at time of application.
  • Demonstrates grateful fidelity to all that the Church teaches, openness to formation and demonstrated leadership.
  • Is active in parish community.
  • Is recommended for the Diaconate by his pastor.
  • Can successfully pass a thorough criminal and financial background check.
  • Successfully completed high school, possesses at least a GED as a minimum, and is able to handle the college level course work.
  • Is at least 31 years of age at the time of admission to the program.
  • Typically, is less than 60 years of age at the time of application.


Top left: Deacon David Reaves and Mary Miller participate in a service project at St. Clare of Assisi Retreat Center, Hampton.
Top right: Deacon Greg Moczygemba and his wife, Cheryl, volunteer at a food pantry.
Bottom left: Deacon Francisco Ovalle visits parishioner Selene.
Bottom right: Deacon Ramón Rivera Robles and his wife, Gladys Lugo, host “Sharing the Word of God,” a Spanish language radio program.

Family Requirements

  • Enjoy a good reputation with his family within the parish and the community.
  • Able to give serious attention and time required for theological study, spiritual formation and service without detriment to his family.
  • If married, he must be married at least five years prior to application and live in a stable and valid marriage, enjoying the full support of his spouse in entering formation, AND become celibate if his wife precedes him in death.
  • Situations of divorce/annulment will require special approval.
  • Successfully complete a Canonical Inquiry
  • If single, he must remain celibate, enjoy a stable settled life with a history of healthy relationships, and understand the implications of the charism of celibacy.


Those men whose first language is not English may have to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and receive a score that represents an acceptable fluency in English.

It is expected that applicants have been actively involved in the Church’s apostolate in their parish and/or Catholic agency. This may include programs of educational ministry, liturgical ministry, parish council, social ministry and so forth. Social ministries include serving the poor, the hungry, the sick, the homeless, the handicapped, the elderly, the imprisoned, life issues, etc.