Newark Resident to be Ordained Deacon

James GebhartJames Gebhart (Submitted Image)

WILMINGTON, DE — James M. Gebhart of Newark, Delaware will be ordained to the transitional diaconate by Most Reverend William E. Koenig on May 13, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Hockessin, Delaware, announced the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

Mr. Gebhart, who turned 26 in July, is an alumnus of St. Catherine of Siena and St. Elizabeth’s Elementary Schools, as well as Delaware Military Academy. He graduated from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor’s degree in Catholic Theology, where he was the class of 2019 Valedictorian.

Mr. Gebhart is currently pursuing graduate studies at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland. He spent the summer of 2019 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Bear, Delaware, and his pastoral year, 2021-2022, at St. Ann Parish in Wilmington, Delaware.

“I am overjoyed to be ordained a transitional deacon for the Diocese of Wilmington,” Mr. Gebhart said. “There have been countless people in my life who have supported me throughout my years of formation, and I am eager to give back to them by my service as a deacon. In this final time of preparation, I feel grateful to the Lord for calling me to serve Him and His Church in this capacity.”

The Diaconate is an ancient ministry deeply rooted in the scriptural accounts of the early Church. The word “deacon” originates from the Greek word diakonia, which means “to serve.” Since the early Church, deacons have played a crucial role in supporting priests and bishops in the administration of sacraments, preaching, and serving congregations.

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There are two primary types of deacons in the Catholic Church – permanent deacons and transitional deacons. The former are ordained to the order and remain in it as a public witness of faith, carrying out various pastoral ministries to meet the needs of the local community. In contrast, transitional deacons are ordained to the order on their way to priestly ordination.

Mr. Gebhart, who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to serving the Church and the community, is on track to be ordained to the Priesthood in 2024.

If you’re interested in exploring priestly or religious vocations, the Diocese of Wilmington has resources to help. The Rev. Norman Carroll, Director of Priestly and Religious Vocations, can be reached at 302-573-3113 or [email protected] You can also find more information at

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was founded in 1868 and encompasses 56 parishes, 18 missions, and 29 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties that make up Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Visit for additional details.

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