Deacon Gerald DuPont receives CARA Research Award

November 27, 2018

Deacon Gerald DuPont of Galveston-Houston received the 2018 Richard Cardinal Cushing Medal from Father Thomas Gaunt and Archbishop Gregory Aymond at the 2018 CARA Awards Celebration in Washington D.C. Photo courtesy of the National Associate of Diaconate Directors.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Deacon Gerald DuPont was presented the 2018 Richard Cardinal Cushing Medal for the Advancement of Church Leadership at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) awards celebration in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 29. The award was presented to Deacon DuPont by Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and Chair of the CARA Board of Directors, and by Father Thomas Gaunt, SJ, executive director of CARA.

The award recognizes Deacon DuPont “for his contributions that advance Church research through active support of research and the understanding of its uses.”

CARA recognized the landmark study which was conducted as part of the 50th anniversary of the renewal of the diaconate in 2018. Deacon DuPont proposed, organized and helped conduct this research and its interpretation. 

The study helps focus attention and increase understanding about the evolving role of diaconal ministry in the Church in the United States. NADD commissioned the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University to conduct this research. Some highlights of the research on the diaconate were included as part of the awards presentation.

The 2018 national study on the diaconate builds on previous national studies published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 1981 and 1996 as well as other research on the diaconate through the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. The research compares deacon formation cohorts, rather than age groups, to reflect three paradigms of deacon formation that have emerged as the theology of the diaconate has evolved over time. Study groups include active deacons, deacon directors and wives of deacons.

The awards ceremony and reception were co-sponsored by National Associate of Diaconate Directors and Villanova University’s Center for Church Management. The Center for Church Management was recognized with the 2018 Rev. Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Award for Exemplary Church Research. 

The diaconate survey results and analysis were the topic of a workshop by Deacon DuPont at the 2018 National Diaconate Congress; an audio recording of the workshop is available through A book about the survey, Word, Liturgy, Charity: The Diaconate in the U.S. Catholic Church, 1968-2018, contains survey results and interpretation. The book is available through CARA and other online vendors.