Diaconal work is always associated with caring for the poor. This article argues that this should not be the case. After giving some examples of diaconal work in Calvin's Geneva in the form of hospitals and a funding organization, the author gives an evaluation of this work, with lessons for today’s deacons and the ministry of mercy.
Deacons are called to care for the poor and the needy in the church. How do they do this for the needy who are kept in institutions? How do they co-ordinate the work with the directors of those institutions? This article gives ways to handle the work, with a brief history of diaconal work in the Christian church and how can deacons be actively involved with institutions that care for the needy and poor.