What's New

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor installed 48 men as acolytes during a private Mass...

Calendar of Events

Dec. 11 - Dec. 13
Permanent Diaconate Formation Weekend (English)
St. John Catholic Center
Dec. 18 - Dec. 20
Permanent Diaconate Formation Weekend (Spanish)
Coury House Retreat Center
Jan. 15, 2021 - Jan. 17, 2021
Permanent Diaconate Formation Weekend (English)
St. John Catholic Center
Jan. 22, 2021 - Jan. 24, 2021
Permanent Diaconate Formation Weekend (Spanish)
Coury House Retreat Center
Feb. 5, 2021 - Feb. 7, 2021
Permanent Diaconate Formation Weekend (English)
St. John Catholic Center

Diaconate Formation Class of 2022

Arkansas Deacon Candidate Directory

Click the button above to learn more about the candidates who are being formed for ordination to the permanent diaconate. For more information, email Deacon Mark Verkamp, associate director of permanent diaconate formation, or call at (501) 664-0340.

En Español

The Diocese of Little Rock is offering a five-year, bilingual, permanent diaconate formation program that began in the fall of 2017. It is a ministry of the Office of Faith Formation under the direction of Father Erik Pohlmeier

Forty-eight men in this formation program were installed as acolytes by Bishop Anthony B. Taylor during a private Mass at Christ the King Church in Little Rock on Sept. 12, 2020. The Mass was not open to the public to safeguard against COVID-19. The bishop presented each new acolyte with a paten to symbolize the service the acolyte can provide during Mass. As acolytes, they will serve during liturgies, help distribute holy Communion and purify sacred vessels.

"As acolytes, it will be your responsibility to assist priests and deacons in carrying out their ministry, and so you — like them — should strive to live a life of sacrificial love modeled on that of Jesus, who gave his life for our salvation and is the victim we offer to the Father every time we celebrate the Eucharist," said the bishop during his homily.

Seventy men were accepted into the program in August 2017. For the first year, these men were called aspirants and their formation focused on human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation. In September 2018, 62 were accepted as candidates for ordination to the permanent diaconate by Bishop Taylor. From 2018 to 2022 their formation courses are focusing more on theological studies. 

"You candidates for the permanent diaconate are on a path to becoming ordained ministers of the Church. As such, you will encounter human brokenness in many ways and will need to deal compassionately with everyone you meet, including those people who are hard to love," said the bishop during his homily.

The English-speaking candidates and their wives attend monthly, weekend classes at St. John Catholic Center in Little Rock, while the Spanish-speaking men and their wives attend formation classes at Subiaco Abbey in Subiaco. For the first time, the diocese is providing the candidacy program in English through St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana.

The diocese also works closely with St. Meinrad Seminary for priestly formation of many of our seminarians. Instructors provide in-person and online courses for 11 months a year for five years. For the Spanish formation, diocesan clergy and laity lead in-person courses at Subiaco Abbey over the same period. Ordination is expected to occur in the summer of 2022.

This formation process began in 2015 when all those interested attended informational meetings to learn about the permanent diaconate. It was open to Catholic men in good standing with the Church who would be at least 35 years old by their ordination in 2022.  More than 130 men and their wives began meeting to discern a vocation to the diaconate in January 2016. After completing nine months of prayer and reflection, 85 men were interested. Of these, 70 were accepted. 

The development of this formation class came after a five-year break. Bishop Anthony B. Taylor ordained 40 English- and Spanish-speaking men from across the diocese to the permanent diaconate in November 2012. For more information, email Deacon Mark Verkamp, associate director of permanent diaconate formation, or call at (501) 664-0340.

What's New

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor installed 48 men as acolytes during a private Mass...

Calendar of Events

Dec. 11 - Dec. 13
Permanent Diaconate Formation Weekend (English)
St. John Catholic Center
Dec. 18 - Dec. 20
Permanent Diaconate Formation Weekend (Spanish)
Coury House Retreat Center
Jan. 15, 2021 - Jan. 17, 2021
Permanent Diaconate Formation Weekend (English)
St. John Catholic Center
Jan. 22, 2021 - Jan. 24, 2021
Permanent Diaconate Formation Weekend (Spanish)
Coury House Retreat Center
Feb. 5, 2021 - Feb. 7, 2021
Permanent Diaconate Formation Weekend (English)
St. John Catholic Center