Discerning Diakonia: Renewing a Prophetic Diaconate for a Co-responsible Church


“Deacons are ordained for the ministry of serving the People of God in the diakonia of the Word, in the liturgy, but above all in the exercise of charity.”
(A Synodal Church in Mission #11.a)

All are invited to a focused synodal encounter with a listening presence from voting synod delegates. This will include a conversation in the Spirit to expand and deepen the discernment.  Simultaneous interpretation from English to Spanish will be available.

Please register here to reserve your seat!

Featured Guests

We will be joined by…

  • Experts including Deacon William Ditewig, esteemed scholar of the diaconate and Roman Catholic Permanent Deacon
  • Synod delegates including Deacon Geert de Cubber, the synod’s only Roman Catholic Permanent Deacon
Deacon William Ditewig
Deacon Geert de Cubber
Deacon Geert de Cubber
Participating Organizations

Discerning Deacons is grateful to host this discernment event in partnership with the following organizations:

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Background and Context

We continue on a bold, multi-year journey to become a Church increasingly capable of walking together in mission and co-responsibility through the global synod. The theme of the synod is “For a Synodal Church. Communion, Participation, Mission”  and the deep listening of the first three years has surfaced many topics that are on the hearts of the people of God. One topic is the ongoing restoration of the permanent order of deacons and the inclusion of women in the diaconate.

At Discerning Deacons, we have been praying, learning, listening and witnessing about this for the past three years and are excited to contribute some of the fruits of our discernment to serve the wider process underway in the global synod.  

On Monday, April 29th, we will gather virtually to hear from stakeholders from the United States and Canada whose stories, experiences and examples give us living witness for what is needed and what could be possible for our church in this third millennium. 

We will also be joined by synod assembly participants who will vote in the second session of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops with Pope Francis in October 2024. During this current season of preparation towards the October session, synod delegates are praying, listening, reflecting and discerning. We understand their presence is only an indication of their role as synod delegates who are instructed to listen broadly as they work to discern the will of the Holy Spirit and we know it does not indicate any position on the matters being discussed.    

We pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us as we deepen reflection on these themes and practice collective discernment about the restoration of the permanent diaconate for men and women. Thank you for joining us along the way! 

If you or your organization would like to be a partner with us to participate in this discernment and help spread the word about this event, please contact us at

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