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Nearly half of world’s deacons serve in US

Catholic World News - August 08, 2013

The number of deacons in the United States continues to grow, according to a survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate and released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Extrapolating from missing data (it appears as if the Archdiocese of Chicago – the diocese with by far the largest number of deacons – did not respond to the survey), the survey’s authors estimated that there are 14,779 active permanent deacons and 18,497 total deacons in the United States.

43% of deacons are in their sixties, and 25% are 70 or older.

“The statistics are encouraging,” said Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “But they also alert us to the fact many of the deacons will soon reach retirement age. This suggests a need for bishops to recruit a greater number of men to join the ranks of the permanent diaconate.”

There are approximately 41,000 deacons worldwide, according to statistics released by the Vatican in May.

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