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Statement of Pastoral Understanding ("Contract of Diaconal Service")

The purpose of the Contract of Diaconal Service is to identify and establish accountability for the areas of responsibility assumed by the deacon.

The Cardinal will assign a deacon to a Parish or Archdiocesan Agency if the Contract identifies specific ministries for which the deacon will be responsible.  The identified areas of ministry should be assumed as ongoing service rather than as the result of a call from the rectory or as needed.  Generally, the deacon can bring only part-time service to his ministry.  His priorities must be according to the order of family, occupation and diaconal ministry.

The ministries assumed by the deacon should be detailed on the contractual document.  A regular schedule of preaching and baptizing should be indicated.   It is understood that the parish or institution to which the deacon is assigned by the Cardinal will be responsible for the cost of the deacon’s and his wife’s annual retreat and continuing education.

Cover letter (Word .doc format)
Contract (Word .doc format)


Deacon Funeral Instructions (Word document or Acrobat PDF)

One of the greatest acts of love we can offer our loved ones is relieving them of the burden of deciding our funeral arrangements at the time of our death. Survivors often agonize over making the right decisions and fulfilling unstated ‘final wishes’.

It is our hope that this instrument will assist you in advising both your loved ones and the Archdiocese of those ‘final wishes’. We recommend that you fill this form out with the assistance of loved ones, that you leave one copy in their possession, and that you forward one copy to the Diaconate Office in a sealed envelop plainly marked with your name and labeled “Funeral Instructions”. If you have pre-planned your funeral with a local mortuary you may want to provide them with a copy as well.

We ask that you be thorough in filling out this instrument and that you do so promptly. These instructions should be updated as needed or every five years.

Are Deacons the Answer?

Thought provoking article in the August 15, 2003 issue of Commonweal. If you have thoughts on it you want to share, please consider discussing them using the Boston Diaconate Bulletin Board (see below).

Diaconate Liturgical Handbook
Prepared by the Diocese of Bridgeport CT, this is both a reference and a guide for deacons in fulfilling their ministry of Word and Sacrament. This handbook effectively brings together all aspects of the deacon’s liturgical ministry. It is fully in accord with the General Instruction on the Roman Missal. It provides important background and practical guidance
Archdiocese of Boston Deacon Transfer Procedure
Deacons will occasionally seek a transfer from a given assignment. Mindful that he has been ordained to serve the needs of the local Church, and not necessarily his home parish or an assignment ofhis own preference, the deacon to be transferred should seek to address those "Requests for the Service of a Deacon" that have been officially received by the Clergy Personnel Office. The Clergy Personnel Office will consult with the deacon in question until a mutually agreeable assignment is identified.

Boston Diaconate Bulletin Board

The bosdiaconate Yahoo group has been replaced by our own Boston Diaconate bulletin board. To access it, go to Anyone can view the posts but you must register to post or reply to a post. There is extensive online documentation available but as always if you need help with this, email me at

See our help file on how to register and use the bulletin board.

This group is for the Boston Diaconate community to use to share ideas, dialogue on matters of interest, and offer support. Presently it is an open, unmoderated group.Click on the link above. In order to keep it as a resource for our community, please do not share the address with those outside the community.

Deacon Community Board: Members

See here for the statement of purpose and responsibilities for the Deacon Community Board

We ask that you contact your regional representatives well in advance of these meetings to submit items you would like to see considered for the agenda.

Deacon Community Board Minutes:

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