Institute for Diaconal Studies



The mission of the Institute for Diaconal Studies is to prepare men to be deacons — icons of Christ the Servant, emissaries of the bishop and servant-leaders—through a distinctive formation process for ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago. It does so by offering a comprehensive program that addresses specifically the mission and identity of diaconal ministry in the Human, Intellectual, Spiritual and Pastoral dimensions of formation while educating men for the three-fold ministry of service to the Word, Liturgy and Charity.



The call to the diaconate, like all Christian vocations, comes from God.  

A Catholic Deacon is one who is ordained to diakonia, that is, a service to God’s People in communion with the bishop and his body of priests.  “The principal function of the deacon is to collaborate with the bishop and the priests in the exercise of a ministry which is not of their own wisdom but of the Word of God, calling all to conversion and holiness” (National Directory, USCCB, 2005, p. 16-17).  Deacons are official teachers and preachers of the Word, they also officiate in baptism, matrimony and funerals. They visit the sick, the home-bound and those in prison.  Their ministry also involved an outreach to the marginalized, those most in need of care, education and social justice.

It is a call that may be beckoning you.  To find out more about responding to this possible call, please contact your pastor or the Institute for Diaconal Studies.  IDS is available to assist you with your questions and concerns about the requirements and procedures.  Review each of the buttons below to learn about the path to becoming a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Chicago.


For more information, contact Deacon Bob Puhala, Director, bpuhala@usml.edu or (847) 837-4564.

Check out our Exploring the Diaconate 2021.  Informational sessions are held in all six vicariates and at University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary.