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Permanent Diaconate Convocation

November 5, 2016

Seton Hall University Jubilee Hall Auditorium
400 South Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079

Optional Welcome Dinner Friday, November 4
The Westminster Hotel
Cash bar opens at 6:30 p.m.; dinner begins at 7 p.m.

Keynote Speaker

Steven Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture
Mount St. Mary's Seminary


  • Deacon James Keating, Ph.D.
    Presentation to deacons, deacon candidates and wives
  • Dianne Traflet, J.D., S.T.D.
    Presentation to wives of deacons and deacon candidates

Our presenters' books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

  • Deacon Keating: The Heart of the Diaconate (Paulist Press), Spousal Prayer (IPF Publications), A Deacon's Retreat (Paulist Press)
  • Dr. Traflet: Saint Edith Stein: A Spiritual Portrait (Pauline Books and Media)


  • Per person rate: $75
  • Per couple rate: $140
  • Pre-evening dinner cost: $40 per person

You will also receive a link to download " Praying the Liturgy of the Hours Together" written by Kathleen Toth about her late husband, Deacon William Toth, former associate professor of Christian Ethics. In this three-page article, Kathleen explains how she and her husband were able to strengthen their prayer life. It is an excerpt from Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology's first journal, "Family Reflections."

A Huge Success!

Our National Diaconate Convocation on November 5, 2016, was a great success! View photos below.

Flickr Diaconate Convocation 11/5/16

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View the Full Set on Flickr »

For more information about the event, please contact:

Deacon Andrew Saunders, M.A., Director
(973) 313-6335

Kimberly Mailley, Assistant Director
(973) 275-2435

Should you require special accommodations to attend this event, please contact Kimberly Mailley.


8:30 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

9:15 a.m.

Welcome - Opening Prayer
Remarks: Monsignor Joseph R. Reilly, S.T.L., Ph.D., Rector/Dean

9:30 a.m.

Steven Smith: "Go and Learn What This Means: I Desire Mercy."

10:45 a.m.

Celebrant: Most Reverend Dennis J. Sullivan, D.D., Diocese of Camden
Bishops of Metuchen and Paterson invited to concelebrate

11:45 a.m.

Deacon James Keating: presenting to deacons and candidates
"Be Merciful to the Church and Continue Our Own Formation"

Dianne Traflet: presenting to wives
"Merciful Accompaniment: The Spiritual Journeys of Inspiring Women of Faith"

12:30 p.m.

Lunch/Free Time

1:00 p.m.

Book Signings

2:00 p.m.


Deacon James Keating
"Diaconal Sloth and Its Effects on Ministry and Prayer"

3:15 p.m.

Panel Discussion (break-out for wives)

4 p.m.

Concluding Comments and Closing Prayer

Speaker Bios

Steven Smith, Ph.D.

Steven SmithSteven Smith is an associate professor of sacred scripture at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He is the author of The Word of the Lord: 7 Essential Principles of Catholic Scripture Study. His website,, is dedicated to Catholic biblical teaching, and numerous biblical topics are available for purchase in CD and MP3 formats. His second book, The House of the Lord, is a fresh approach to Catholic biblical theology and will be published soon. Dr. Smith and his family live in central Pennsylvania.


Deacon James Keating, Ph.D.


Deacon James KeatingJames Keating is director of theological formation in the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1993, Deacon Keating was appointed by the Papal Nuncio to be associate professor of moral and spiritual theology in the School of Theology at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio, where he served for 13 years. Deacon Keating received his Ph.D. in Roman Catholic Theology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; his M.A. in Religious Studies from Fordham University in New York City; and his B.A in Religious Studies from Siena College. Some of his 100 essays on ethics, spirituality, and clergy formation have appeared in numerous publications, some of which include Nova et Vetera, Sacrum Ministerium, New Diaconal Review, and Origins. Deacon Keating has lectured extensively at Seminaries throughout the country and was Visiting Professor at the University of St. Mary of the Lake (Mundelein Seminary/Liturgical Institute), Chicago. He was invited by the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization to give a presentation in 2016 at the Vatican for their world-wide celebration of the diaconate during the Holy Year of Mercy. He will speak on "The Diaconate and Family."

Dr. Keating is the author of several books, including The Heart of the Diaconate (Paulist Press, 2015); Spousal Prayer: A Way to Marital Happiness (IPF Publications, 2013); Resting on the Heart of Christ: The Mission and Spirituality of the Seminary Theologian (IPF Publications, 2009); A Deacon's Retreat (Paulist Press, 2010); Pure Heart, Clear Conscience: Catholic Moral Life (Liguori Press, 2003); Crossing the Desert: Moral Conversion and Lent (Liguori Press, 2001); and Listening for Truth: A Life of Prayers and Virtue (Liguori Press, 2002; reprinted 2013). He is the co-author of the books Moral Formation in the Parish (Alba House, 1998) with Anthony Ciorra; Conscience and Prayer: The Spirit of Catholic Moral Theology (Liturgical Press/Michael Glazier, 2001) and The Way of Mystery: Eucharist and Moral Living (Paulist Press, 2006), both with Dennis Billy, C.S.R.

Deacon Keating served as editor of the Josephinum Journal of Theology (1993-2006) and is currently editor of the Josephinum Diaconal Review. He is also editor of numerous books, including The Deacon Reader (2006) which won First Place in the Catholic Press Association Awards and, most recently, The Character of the Diaconate (2016).

He has regular audio presentations on the digital Retreat House, Discerning He served as columnist on the Moral/Spiritual Life for Church Life: A Journal of the New Evangelization until 2015. He is currently a regular contributor to Catechetical Review. He serves St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver as a member of the Board of Trustees. He was ordained a deacon in 2001 and is currently a deacon of the Archdiocese of Omaha, where he serves as director of the Office of the Diaconate.

Married to Marianne, they have three sons, Kristoffer, Jonathan and Liam, and a daughter, Ina.

Dianne Traflet, J.D., S.T.D.

Dianne TrafletDianne Traflet, associate dean for graduate studies and administration and assistant professor of pastoral theology, earned a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law, an M.A. in Catholic Theology and Pastoral Ministry from The Institute of Advanced Studies of Catholic Doctrine, St. John's University, and an S.T.L. and an S.T.D. from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (The Angelicum), Rome. Director of the Institute for Christian Spirituality, Dr. Traflet gives numerous lectures, retreats, and days of recollection, and is the author of Edith Stein: A Spiritual Portrait (Pauline Media, 2008). Dr. Traflet serves on the Board of Governors of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, Long Island, and on the Board of Trustees of Morris Catholic High School, Denville, NJ. Her recent classes include Women Mystics, Theology and Practice of Prayer, Spiritual Theology and Public Speaking, Marian Spirituality and History of Christian Spirituality. In October 2015, she had the honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame of her alma mater, Immaculate Conception High School, Lodi, NJ.

Hotel Information

Westminster Hotel
550 W. Mount Pleasant Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039-1608
Ph: 973-533-0600
Toll Free: 800-388-2741

Event Name: Seton Hall - Diaconate Convocation
Preferred Event rate: $119 per night ($20 extra person charge per room), plus tax and gratuities
Rate extended to guests Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (November 3, 4, 5)

  • Shuttle service available to Seton Hall University
  • Easy access to major highways
  • 20 miles/30 minutes from Manhattan
  • 20 minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport
  • Minutes from major shopping malls in Short Hills and Livingston, NJ
  • Features in-house steak restaurant, Strip House
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