Part Four – Placement of Deacons
4.1 General Principles
The Deacon Personnel Board is responsible for recommending the placement of deacons in ministerial assignments in accord with the philosophy of The One Ray of Hope (see Section Four). These recommendations will be made with every effort to coordinate the abilities and preferences of the individual deacon and his family with the specific needs of a particular assignment and the overall requirements of the Archdiocese.
The primary objective of the Board is to match the needs of an individual parish, institution or agency with the competence and potential of an individual deacon. Through information forms, personal interviews, and direct contacts with deacons, the Board becomes more familiar with the background, experience, and individual goals of deacons in recommending candidates for appointment to ministerial assignments.
The Division of Clergy Personnel is responsible for creating and keeping up to date a system of detailed and accurate information regarding deacons including their ministerial experience, continuing formation activities and personal preferences. The Division is also responsible for maintaining a list of parish and institutional vacancies and for handling all requests for deacon assignments.
4.2 Goals of the Placement Process
The goals of the placement process are:
- to ensure the systematic and practical assignment of deacons to ministries compatible with the giftedness of each deacon in order to fulfill the specific needs of the Archdiocese.
- to provide qualified pastoral leadership to the Archdiocese by assigning a qualified deacon to each vacant position.
- to respond to the personal and ministerial growth needs of every Archdiocesan deacon to assure his ongoing formation.
- to assist deacons in serving where they can make full use of their individual leadership and ministerial abilities.
4.3 Elements of the Placement Process
The placement process is carried out through a series of steps. The essential elements of the placement process include, but are not limited to:
- Information Gathering: accurate, current, and objective data is compiled about the potential position and the deacons available for assignment,
- Development of Recommendations: assignments are determined by the Board for each position and must balance the pastoral needs of the Archdiocese with the welfare of the individual deacon.
- Clearance: recommendations proposed by the Board are discussed with the administrative authorities of the Archdiocese such as the Archbishop, the Vicar Bishops and the pastors or leadership involved in changes of deacon assignments.
- Consultation: no assignment will be finalized without personal consultation with the nominees and the pastoral leadership and/or staff of the potential parish, institution, or organization. Ordinarily a deacon is free to accept, decline, or ask for a reasonable amount of time for further consideration. Each deacon maintains the right of direct appeal to the Vicar Bishop and/or the Archbishop.
4.4 Term of Assignment
- Deacons are appointed for five-year terms. Following an evaluation and the recommendation of the Board, they may be appointed for additional terms.
- Ordinarily stability in all appointments suggests that deacons would remain in that particular ministry for the entire term; however, extenuating circumstances might warrant that a full term not be served.
- All deacons over 65 years of age are exempt from the implementation of the above policy; however, all other diocesan policies relative to deacons remain in effect
4.5 Requests for Change of Assignment
A recommendation for change of assignment may originate in several ways:
- A deacon may take the initiative himself by requesting a change of assignment. When a vacancy occurs in a pastoral assignment, a deacon may make a specific request to the Board for consideration for this assignment. A deacon may at any time request to be reassigned due to incompatibility of his current assignment
- The Deacon Personnel Board may ask a deacon to consider reassignment because his qualifications correspond to a particular need or because the Board feels that a different assignment may be beneficial in increasing his competence, experience or well-being.
- A pastor or supervisor may recommend that a deacon be removed from the ministry site. This requires the greatest sensitivity to assure that all parties are treated fairly and with respect.
- The Archbishop or Vicar Bishop may request a change of assignment to fulfill a unique need of the Archdiocese.
The normal retirement age for a deacon is 75. The deacon may request earlier retirement for reasons of health, long-term family responsibilities, or other circumstances that inhibit his ability to fulfill his diaconal duties. For the same reasons the Archbishop may direct the deacon to retire prior to his 75th year.
Retirement means a deacon will not be asked to take a new active assignment.
Archdiocesan Norms – Part Four
A deacon is appointed for a five-year term which is renewable after evaluation. The normal retirement age for a deacon is 75.