The ink is still damp on this new study out of Georgetown on the permanent diaconate. But here are the major findings:

• Twenty-one arch/dioceses report having more than 200 permanent deacons, with Chicago (646 deacons), Trenton (442 deacons), and Galveston-Houston (383) among the top three. Deacons currently minister in all but one diocese in the United States.

• Eight in ten permanent deacons in responding arch/dioceses are active in ministry.

• The 163 Latin rite arch/dioceses that responded to the questionnaire in at least one of the last five years report a total of 14,317 permanent deacons. The six arch/eparchies that have responded report a total of 82 permanent deacons. Extrapolating to include dioceses and eparchies that have never responded to the survey, it can be estimated that there are as many as 17,047 permanent deacons in the United States today and perhaps as many as 16,349 still active in ministry.

Ninety-two percent of permanent deacons in active ministry are currently married. Four
percent are widowers, and 2 percent have never been married.

• More than six in ten permanent deacons in active ministry are at least 60 years old.
Almost four in ten deacons are 60 to 69, and about a quarter are 70 or older.

• Eighty-one percent of active deacons are non-Hispanic whites. Fourteen percent are
Hispanic or Latino. Two percent are African American and 2 percent are Asian.

• One-quarter of active deacons (28 percent) have a graduate degree. Deacons are twice as likely to have a graduate degree in a field not related to the Diaconate as to have one in a religious field such as religious studies, theology, Cannon Law, etc.

There’s much more. Visit the link for the rest.

More from Beliefnet and our partners