The Deacon Assistance Fund (Fund) is established for the purpose of providing financial support for deacons who are incardinated in the Archdiocese of Atlanta in times of need when no other sources of funds are available or when timely receipt of funds is of importance. A committee of two deacons and the wife of a deacon, established by the Archbishop, reviews requests for funding. Each committee member will serve a three year term. The Director of the Permanent Diaconate (Director) acts as facilitator for the committee to receive requests and to make disbursements. However, the Archbishop may bypass this group at his discretion and instruct that a deacon be funded in a given situation.
The Business Office annually bills the parish or ministry of each incardinated deacon in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. At present, the total is $50.00 per deacon per annum.
The Fund may also accept contributions directed to it. In addition the Fund will be the beneficiary of distributions from the Deacons Assistance Endowment Fund that has been established at the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia, to which donations may also be directed.
Requests for funding are addressed to the Director of the Permanent Diaconate. The Deacon Assistance Fund has three funding options available to it if a request is approved. 1) The applicant may receive a grant. In this case, there is no expectation of repayment. 2) The applicant may receive a loan. In this case there is an expectation of repayment either with or without interest unless changing circumstances warrant that a loan be forgiven or converted to a grant. 3) The applicant may receive a hybrid – part grant and part loan. In this case there would be an expectation that the grant not be repaid and that the loan be repaid unless changing circumstances warrant that the loan be forgiven or converted to a grant.
As a general rule, deacons are limited to receiving a grant or loan of no more than $2,500.00 per annum. This limit may be waived by the committee or by the Archbishop if circumstances warrant. To the extent possible, the privacy of an applicant and his given situation is to be preserved. However, the Director works closely with the Business Office to make certain that they receive the information they deem necessary to fulfill internal audit requirements.