Director of the Permanent Diaconate
Father Daniel J. Merz, SLD

Coordinator of Diaconate Formation
Deacon Ray Purvis
573.635.9127, ext. 223

2207 West Main St | PO Box 104900
Jefferson City, MO 65110-4900


Bishop Shawn McKnight explains the theological foundation of the diaconate in this fireside chat on Aug. 24, 2018.

Since the renewal and encouragement of the Order of Permanent Diaconate throughout the entire Church by Vatican II, the Diocese of Jefferson City has ordained 150 men. Today, 93 ordained men serve throughout the diocese in the role of deacon. Included in that number are several men from other dioceses. In addition to the deacons active in the diocese, five men ordained for the Diocese of Jefferson City are serving in other dioceses. Several additional ordained deacons are in inactive or retired status but continue to serve the Church in various capacities.

The first class of 19 permanent deacons was ordained on May 7, 1977. The most recent ordination was April 30, 2016, when eight men were ordained for service to the Diocese.

Prayer for Vocations

God and Father, raise up by your mighty love a stirring in the hearts of your people to hear a call to service, especially in the service of your Church. May we use Mary, Mother of your Son, Jesus, as our model of answering our individual call to service.

We pray especially for individuals chosen to work with you in a more direct way in the ministry of your Church, especially those called to a vocation to the priesthood, diaconate or religious life.

Sustain, O Lord, our pope, Pope Francis, all bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated religious and all of the baptized who have answered a call to serve you by serving your people. Amen