Congratulations to the latest group of men, accompanied by their wives, who are one step closer to being ordained permanent deacons in the Catholic Church! This past Sunday, they experienced the Candidacy Mass at St. Ambrose Cathedral. During the Candidacy Mass, the men present themselves to the bishop as candidates for the permanent diaconate. The formation process lasts four years and is intensive as it requires twice monthly trips to Conception, Missouri for study, prayer and formation in addition to work done at home. We are blessed with more than 85 active permanent deacons serving people liturgically and in other ministries throughout the Diocese of Des Moines.