Deacon Formation
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Deacon Formation

Where Love Becomes Service

Welcome to Deacon Formation

Are you a Catholic man active in your faith and parish? Looking to go deeper to serve the Church, your family and the world? You may have a vocation to the Diaconate! If you or a loved one are discerning whether to be a deacon, contact the Diaconate Formation Office of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to learn more!

TDiaconate Formationhe Office for Diaconate Formation (ODF) provides distinct ministry preparation for Catholic men discerning a vocation calling to the permanent diaconate. The ODF counsels, guides and forms men who through adult formation programs, advanced theological education or some other experience encounter Christ and seek a deeper, permanent response to a perceived call to be servants of God's people through ministry in the Church.

Diaconal ministry works hand in hand with both priestly and lay ministry as a sacrament to bring about the kingdom of God. Deacons are men with a charism and a calling to radical availability for service to the People of God, the Church. The deacon’s vocation calls him to collaborate with the bishop and the priests in an exercise of a ministry that is not of their own but the Word of God — calling all to conversion and holiness. It is a ministry of reconciliation, of outreach to the most marginalized and those most in need of care, of education and justice.

The Diaconate was not re-instituted because we have a shortage of priests or lay ministers but to relieve the shortage of ordained deacons. It was restored as “a living icon of Christ the Servant within the Church...a visible sign or sacrament of the Lord Christ himself.”

For more information about the diaconate, please read our brochure (English, Español).

Para leer la información de esta página en español vaya aquí. 

Wife of a Deacon (Appreciate Her Role in the Catholic Church): ​

The Blessings of Becoming a Deacon:

Listen to episodes of the 'Living Our Faith' podcast, covering the lives of Deacons' wives and the journey of three recently oradained deacons right here in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee!

Ministry of the Deacon

Ordained Deacons, going the distance to serve the People of God.

Getting Started

Information and discernment sessions for those interested in learning more about the ministry of a deacon.

Admission Process

The process for admissions to the diaconate program is described.

Information & Resources

Information, programs, the Deacon Servant newsletter and schedules in English or Spanish (Español) to better serve you.

Our Staff & Faculty

Within the Office for Diaconate Formation, we are prepared to assist you on behalf of the Church in discerning a response to your vocation.

Our Aspirants & Candidates

Please pray for our current classes of aspirants, candidates and their wives, as they continue to discern their call to diaconal service.

Updates September 2023


Discernment Program:

The Inquiry for Discernment Program is a series of four required sessions conducted for men (30—60 yrs.) and if married (in the Church at least 5 yrs.), together with their spouses, who wish to explore a vocational calling to the ministry of the diaconate. To see the schedule and places of these sessions please go here. 


The Deacon Servant Newsletter
Deacons and Candidates Presence Maps

This tool will help to have a vision of the deacon presence in our Archdiocese. These maps also show where this presence is needed. And where are the men responding to the call to be servants for the Church. They will be updated as needed. You can see the maps here: Archdiocese area and Milwaukee area.


Diaconate Formation Program

If you want to know more, read these "Quick Facts" / "Puntos Claves" or please fill out this form and we will contact you.

Diaconate Formation

Mary Mother of the Church Pastoral Center
3501 South Lake Drive
St. Francis, WI 53235

Deacon Dale T. Nees
Director of Formation

Deacon Manuel Maldonado-Villalobos
Associate Director of Formation (Bilingual)

Maria (Maritza) Espino
Associate Director Pastoral Formation (Bilingual)

Jennifer Michaels
Administrative Assistant

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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
St. Francis, WI 53235

Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408