About Us

Our Mission

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Most Rev. Jeffrey Monforton
Bishop, Diocese of Steubenville

Our mission is to renew the Church by inspiring deacons to become more fully who they are so as to more effectively bring Jesus to those they serve.  This is accomplished by deepening the deacon's intimacy with Christ the Servant to whom they were configured on the day of their ordination. Building upon the foundations of Pope John Paul II’s personalist approach and in service to the Magisterium, Diaconal Ministries offers an array of presentations, retreats and resources enabling deacons to grow in their own diaconate. 

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Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Ph.D.

Deacon Dominic Cerrato is Director of Diaconal Ministries and Director of the Diaconate for the Diocese of Joliet. He is also the Editor of Our Sunday Visitor's, The Deacon magazine and was chosen by Pope Francis to be a member of the international Papal Commission on Women and the Diaconate. Formerly, he served in full-time pastoral ministry specializing in adult faith formation. He has taught theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Duquesne University and Holy Apostles College and Seminary. While at Franciscan University, Deacon Dominic also established and developed the Distance Learning Masters in Theology Program. He has nearly 30 years of experience in catechetical and pastoral ministry on both the diocesan and parish levels. 

Deacon Dominic possesses a BA in Theology from Franciscan University, a MA in Theology from Duquesne University where he also completed his Ph.D. course work with a concentration in healthcare ethics. In 2009, he was awarded a Ph.D in Theology from the Graduate Theological Foundation.

A Ministry Dedicated to Mary, Mother of the Diaconate

This ministry would not be complete without commending it to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her example of humble service bore Christ the Servant giving the diaconate its perfect model.  Beyond that, insofar as she is the mother of Christ the Servant, and insofar as deacons are configured to that same Christ, she is not only His mother in the order of sacred service, but ours as well. With this in mind, to her many titles one more can be added, Mater Diaconati (Mother of the Diaconate). Joining our voice to hers, let is always respond to the call of the Holy Spirit by saying, “We are the servants of the Lord, let it be done to us according to His word.”


Sancta Maria, Mater Diaconati, ora pro nobis.

Ordained in 1995 as the first permanent deacon of the Diocese of Steubenville at the age of 35, Deacon Dominic is a national speaker, author, and retreat master. Beyond scholarly papers and popular articles, he wrote, In the Person of Christ the Servant, A Theology of the Diaconate Based on the Personalist Thought of Pope John Paul II. He has just completed a another book on the diaconate entitled, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate, from Our Sunday Visitor Publishing. Deacon Dominic and his wife Judith have been married for 39 years and they have seven children and many grandchildren.