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3.0       DEACON COUNCIL

3.1       Role of the Council

The Deacon Council, an elected body representing the deacon community in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles:

  • Assists and advises the Director of Deacons in assuring the well-being of the diaconate community
  • Serves as a voice for regional deacon communities by raising issues with deacon leadership
  • Disseminates information to the regional deacon communities
  • Coordinates archdiocesan and regional deacon gatherings (e.g., St. Lawrence Day Mass, Memorial Mass and Christmas Party, B-B-Q's, etc.)
  • Advises the Director of Deacons on:
    • Recruitment, formation and selection of deacon candidates
    • Continuing education/formation of deacons
    • Spiritual growth and retreats for deacons
    • Any other matters of concern pertaining to diaconal ministry

3.2       Council Membership

The Deacon Council consists of the following members:

  • Five elected Regional Representatives and five elected alternates *
  • The Director of Deacons (ex-officio)
  • The Director of Deacon Formation (ex-officio)
  • Representatives of standing committees (ex-officio) as determined by the Director of Deacons

*  Wives of elected/appointed members are invited to all council meetings/events

3.3       Council Officers

The Deacon Council shall elect the following Officers:

Council Chairperson - the chairperson shall be elected by the council to preside at all council meetings and to serve as the principal contact between the council and the Director of Deacons.  The chairperson, in coordination with the Director of Deacons, establishes the agenda for the meetings.  The chairperson, or a delegate approved by the Director of Deacons, shall represent the council on other archdiocesan councils as needed (e.g., the archdiocesan Pastoral Council). Any duly elected representative or alternate, with one full year of council service, may stand for election to chairperson.

Council Secretary - The secretary shall be elected by the council to document and distribute council meeting minutes and meeting notices to all council members.  Any duly elected representative or alternate may stand for election to secretary.

Elections for both officers shall be held in January for one-year terms, which are renewable.  A special election shall be held to replace an officer of the council who cannot complete his term of office.

3.4       Election of Representatives

Any deacon who is in good standing and who lives in or has his diaconal assignment in a given region, is eligible to stand for election for representative for that region, provided he has not exceeded the term limits as described above.  A deacon candidate shall notify his alternate or regional representative of his intention to stand for election.  No name shall be placed in nomination without the candidate's consent. 

The current regional representative is responsible for soliciting candidates and conducting an election for the vacant position.  A vote of all the deacons assigned to that region shall be conducted by secret ballot, and may be administered through regular mail, electronic mail, by a vote at a regional gathering of deacons, or any combination thereof.  The voting method which maximizes participation in the election should be selected. 

Regional elections shall be conducted by the end of August per the following schedule:

San Fernando Region:                        Odd years

San Gabriel Region:                            Odd years

Santa Barbara Region:                        Even years

San Pedro Region:                              Even years

Our Lady of the Angels Region:         Even years

3.5       Terms of Office

The term for elected members shall be four years; the first two years as alternate and the second two years as regional representative (except as stated otherwise below).  Elections shall be held during the month of August, with results presented and approved at a full meeting of the council.  Newly elected members shall be introduced at the last council meeting of the year.   Exchange of position shall take place the following January. 

a.   Succession - In the event a regional representative resigns or is unable to serve out his term (as determined by vote of the council) the alternate shall assume the position of regional representative.  A new alternate shall then be elected to assume the balance of the term.  The newly elected alternate and the new regional representative will serve the balance of the unexpired terms before they serve the two-year term for which they have been elected.  In the event an alternate resigns or is unable to serve out his term (as determined by vote of the council) a new election shall be called.  The newly elected alternate shall serve out the balance of the alternate's term and then serve two years as regional representative. 

b.   Vacancy:  A position is deemed to be "vacant" when the council chairperson or Director of Deacons receives a letter of resignation from a regional representative or alternate.  The position may also be deemed "vacant" when a member is found to be unable to serve, as determined by a majority vote of the council at a general, or specially called meeting. 

c.   Re-Election: A deacon may serve up to two consecutive four-year terms if so elected by the deacons of the region.  A deacon who has served two four-year terms is eligible for election again after a two year period off the council.  Should a regional representative seek re-election to the position of alternate or regional representative, he shall appoint another deacon to be responsible for conducting the election and notifying the Director of Deacons of the results.

3.6       Role of Representatives

 The regional representatives and alternates, together with their wives, are spiritual, social and ministerial leaders of the diaconate community in their pastoral regions.  This is an important ministry to the diaconate community and will require significant time and involvement.  These representatives are responsible for facilitating communications in all matters concerning the regional diaconate family.  Specific activities of the regional representatives and alternates include, but are not limited to:​

a.   Meeting at least four times a year with the Director of Deacons (or his representative) to discuss current spiritual and ministerial concerns, personnel issues, and administrative duties within the regional diaconate community.  A yearly calendar of these meeting dates shall be set each January.

b.   Holding regular (quarterly is recommended) well-planned meetings for the deacons and deacon wives of their region.  The meetings, spread throughout the year, are intended to encourage engagement and participation in the regional diaconate community, and should include opportunities for ministerial and spiritual enrichment, as well as for fun and socializing.  The auxiliary bishop should be encouraged to attend regional deacon gatherings whenever possible.

c.   Identifying and recruiting potential deacons to serve as deanery leaders, and meeting with current deanery leaders at least quarterly to support and foster deacon participation at a local level. 

d.   Meeting and interacting with the regional leadership: the auxiliary bishop, his assistant, his deans and local ministry leaders.

e.   Supporting the Director of Diaconate Formation in the recruitment, evaluation and mentoring of deacon candidates.

f.    Maintaining a workable e-mail list and telephone tree within the region to disseminate important information to the deacons of that region.

g.   Maintaining an outreach to all deacon widows in the region, inviting their participation in archdiocesan and regional deacon gatherings (especially the annual Memorial Mass).

h.   Coordinating diaconate involvement in the funerals of deacons and deacon wives in the region.

i.    Maintaining a yearly calendar of regional diaconate events.

3.7       Council Meeting Format

General meetings of the Deacon Council shall meet at a date, time and location determined by the Council at the annual Council Leadership meeting held at the beginning of each year.  The order of business shall follow this established format:

a.   Opening Prayer

b.   Review and approval of the minutes of the prior meeting

c.   Discussion of items from meeting agenda, to include updates from regional representatives and ex-officio members, old business and new business

d.   Closing Prayer

3.8       Council Leadership Meeting

A meeting of the full Deacon Council, with both outgoing and incoming members, shall be held at the beginning of each calendar year.  The purpose of the meeting is two-fold: to conduct necessary business to plan for the upcoming year and to provide an opportunity for spiritual growth and reflection.  The meeting shall be at a location selected by the Director of Deacons.  At a minimum, the business agenda for the meeting shall include; 1) Installation of incoming members, 2) Review of prior year's activities and lessons learned (all members), 3) Presentation of regional goals for coming year (regional representatives), 4) Election of council officers (all members), 5) Scheduling meeting dates for coming year.

3.9       General Deacon Gatherings

The Deacon Council will be responsible for planning, coordinating and hosting annual gatherings of the diaconate community.  The Office of Deacons in Ministry will manage invitations and RSVP's and will fund each event.

a.   Gathering with Archbishop - Unless otherwise directed, the annual gathering of the archbishop with the deacons of the archdiocese typically occurs on the Feast Day of St. Lawrence Martyr (August 10th).  The celebration of the Mass will include a renewal of diaconal vows, followed by dinner and a presentation by the archbishop.  Regardless of where the event is held, representatives from all regions are expected to participate in planning and running this event.

b.   Memorial Mass - A Memorial Mass in celebration of all deceased deacons and deacon wives shall be held each November.  The date/time of the Mass date shall be established at the council leadership meeting in January.  The location of the Mass, the planning of the liturgy, and the reception following the Mass shall be the responsibility of the representative/alternate from the hosting region, according to the following schedule:

•     2019 SG

•     2020 OLA

•     2021 SF

•     2022 SB

•     2023 SP (pattern repeats in subsequent years)

c.   Christmas Party - A deacon Christmas Party shall be held each year on the first Saturday of December.  The location of the party and the planning of the event shall be the responsibility of the representative/alternate from the hosting region, according to the following schedule:

•     2019 SP

•     2020 SG

•     2021 OLA

•     2022 SF

•     2023 SB

 (pattern repeats in subsequent years)

3.10     Standing Committees

The Deacon Council may include a representative from one or more of the following boards/committees (at the discretion of the Director of Deacons):

    1. Deacon Formation Advisory Board
    2. Post-Ordination Formation Committee
    3. Ongoing Formation Committee
    4. Spiritual Development Committee
    5. Hispanic Outreach Committee

3.11     Deanery Leader

Each deanery is encouraged to select a deacon to function as a social, ministerial and spiritual leader, and to assist the regional representative in serving the diaconate community within the deanery.  Any deacon in good standing may serve as deanery leader with the approval of the deacons of that deanery and the regional representative.  Specific duties include, but are not limited to:

a.   Maintaining an up-to-date list of deacons, deacon wives and widows' names, addresses and phone numbers, as well as a calendar of all deacon gatherings in the deanery.

b.   Maintaining a workable electronic mail directory within the deanery and facilitating communications between the regional representative and the deacons.

c.   Facilitating/holding monthly gatherings for deacons, deacon wives and widows to come together in prayer, and to provide opportunities for social, ministerial and spiritual enrichment.​​


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