About us History


In 1965 , an International Study Conference took place in Rome on the topic of “the Deacon in the Church and World of Today” cardinals, bishops, theologians, men and women from all over the world took part in the event. Founded within this context, the International Diaconate Centre had continuously promoted the ministry of the deacon within a Church with a diaconal face. It understands itself as a grouping of bishops, priests, deacons, theologians and laypeople and it, therefore, is an association founded on the basis of a private agreement among faithful, in accordance with can. 299 § 1 CIC. The International Diaconate Centre understands itself as a venue in which the idea of the diaconate and of diaconal ministry is promoted at the level of the universal Church. As a centre, it collects experiences, reflections and initiatives involving the diaconate worldwide, give access to these and offers all those interested its services to all those interested in the diaconate. Based on its organizational form as an association, it needs ecclesial recognition in order to have the power to act within the Church. The diocesan bishop of the association’s headquarters and, thereby, the competent authority in accordance with can. 312 § 1 no. 3 CIC has recognized and recommended the International Diaconate Centre as a private association of the faithful according to can. 299 § 2 CIC.

1951 Young social workers found the first Diaconate Circle in Freiburg, Germany with the aim to serve the people in need as married permanent deacons in the Catholic Church.
1952 The Diaconate Circle publishes its first “Working Paper”; this will be regularly published up to 1966.
1954 Another Diaconate Circle is founded in Munich.
1955 Expanding of international contacts.
1958 More Diaconate Circles and groups start to be created in various countries (e.g. Germany, France, Austria, Latin America).
1959 The various initiatives join together, forming the “International Diaconate Circle”, based in Freiburg.
1962 Petition addressed to all bishops participating in the Second Vatican Council asking for the renewal of the permanent diaconate.
1965 Rome: International Study Conference on “The Deacon in the Church and the World of Today”.

Founding of the “International Information Centre for Issues Pertaining to the Diaconate” based in Freiburg.
1966 Beginning of the “Diaconia Christi” magazine.

Over the following years: Collaboration in the renewal of the permanent diaconate in various countries.
1969 Changes in the tasks and structures and change of name to “International Diaconate Centre (IDC)”.
1992 The IDC is transferred to the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart.
1995 30th anniversary of the IDC.