Become a Deacon Chaplain

The Acts of the Apostles describes the work of Deacons as caring for the poor and proclaiming the Gospel. Deacons have ministered in close co-operation with the Bishops of the Church. Permanent Deacons are often married with families.

The Second Vatican Council (1962 – 1965) restored the permanent diaconate to the ministry of the Church.

For over 30 years the Military Diocese has been very fortunate to have had about 15 Permanent Deacons as Catholic Chaplains in the ADF. The vast majority of our Deacons had been long serving members in the ADF prior to discerning a vocation to the Diaconate. They were given a period of civil schooling to study Theology and engage in Pastoral Formation.

The ADF’s In-Service Training Scheme for Chaplains allows suitable ADF members to academically and pastorally prepare for Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate.

For more information ADF members can access. In Service Training Scheme for the appointment of Chaplains. Through their relevant Service Chaplain Department or branch.

If any male member of the ADF wishes to enquire further about the Permanent Diaconate, speak to your local Catholic Chaplain, or our Vocations Director:

Fr Damian Styles –

Or you may wish to contact the Chancery of the Military Diocese.

For those already ordained to the Order of Deacons and are interest in either Full Time or Part Time (Reserve) Ministry as a Deacon in the ADF. Please contact:

Monsignor Peter O’Keefe – Phone: (02) 6248 0511

Just some of the responsibilities of a Military Deacon:

  • Sacramental and Liturgical ministry in Defence Chapels, on ships and exercises in the field.
  • Sacramental preparation programs with ADF members and families.
  • Pastoral care and visitation to work places, homes and to those in hospital or detention
  • Participate in Remembrance and Memorial services
  • Prayers and Blessings
  • Involved in Character formation [values and ethics]
  • Are Military Officers without command authority
  • Deploy on Military Exercises or Overseas Operations
  • Advocate and provide for the spiritual, mental health and emotional care of people
    • as a regional member of a catholic team
    • as part of an ecumenical or inter faith Chaplaincy team.
    • as part of a multidisciplinary team [medical, psychological and welfare]
  • Provide service to various levels of command on Spirituality, morale and Pastoral Care.


  • Be released by your Bishop or Religious supervisor on loan to the Military Diocese.
  • Minimum three year Degree in Theology (or equivalent).
  • Two years full time (or equivalent) pastoral experience in a parish.
  • Must be medically and physically fit.
  • A genuine desire to work within the Australian Defence Force.
  • Must be an Australian Citizen
  • Be Able to commit to Full-Time or Part Time Service.
  • Be endorsed by the Military Diocese as suitable for military ministry.


To find out more please contact:

Monsignor Peter O’Keefe AM
The Chancery
30 White Cres
Mobile: 0428 888 302 Email:

For Additional Information visit: