Meet the Archdeacon


Archdeacon, Diocese of Southwest Florida 

Archdeacon Michael Kitt currently serves on our Council on Deacons and is the Parish Deacon of Good Shepherd in Venice. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Commission on Ministry. He was appointed to the Bishop Coadjutor Search Committee, serving as Chair of the Finance and Recruiting Committees.

Kitt was ordained to the diaconate in February 2002 in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. He believes that his diaconal ministry began in the mid-1980s when he established a weekly soup kitchen ministry in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago which lasted 30 years.

In the Diocese of Chicago Kitt served on the Deacons Formation Commission.

For six years he chaired the Diocesan Commission on Global Mission which focused on their companion relationship with the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Mexico. He traveled to Mexico extensively over an eight-year period, helping to establish several sustainable parish-based businesses and building a water purification system in his sister parish’s community. He served on the Cathedral Chapter of St. James in Chicago and as a Director of the Association for Episcopal Deacons. Archdeacon Kitt also worked in community organizing, advocating for affordable housing, accessible health care, and worker rights.

As a bi-vocational clergy, he served as CFO for the Delves Group, a consulting firm, retiring in December 2015 upon selling the practice. He also served as Chaplain of the Episcopal Campus Ministry at Northwestern University retiring in June 2016.

Archdeacon Kitt and his wife Stephanie have been married for 40 years and are both lifelong Episcopalians. They moved to Venice from Park Ridge, Illinois in June 2017.

Q: How did you hear God’s call in your life to become a Deacon?

A: I believe God’s call to me for diaconal ministry is rooted in my baptism. From the time I was in college, I served on boards and community organizations that advocated for justice, equality, and the dignity of human life. I always advocated for a more just system that delivered behavioral health care to the mentally ill, workers’ rights, affordable and accessible health care, affordable housing, and caring for the hungry and forgotten in our communities. One could say the sacrament began long before the ordination. I always believed that God called me to each of these ministries for a reason. It was when I was doing mission work in the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Mexico that it became clearer to me that God was calling me to something greater than I could ever imagine. My ministry was becoming more public both in my parish and the diocese. Members of the clergy and lay leadership encouraged me to consider discerning a call to ordained ministry so I believe God’s call to me for ordained ministry was rooted in my community. On February 2, 2002, the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple, I was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop William D. Persell. Recently celebrating the twenty-first anniversary of my ordination, I continue to discern God’s call in my life every day. 

Q: Before retiring to Venice five years ago, you were a Deacon in the Diocese of Chicago. Tell me a little bit about that experience.

A. I was privileged to serve under two bishops: Bishop William D. Persell and Bishop Jeffrey D. Lee. During the 15 years I served in the Chicago Diocese, I was called to serve on the Discernment and Formation Committees for the Diaconate, the Deacons Council, the Global Mission and Ministry Commission, and the Cathedral Chapter at St. James. Much of my global mission ministry involved extensive travel to the Diocese of Southeast Mexico working closely with other Episcopal churches in our diocese. When I retired from ministry in Chicago, I had just finished serving as Chaplain of our Episcopal Campus Ministry at Northwestern University in Evanston. My ministry in this diocese was full of challenges, accomplishments, and a deep sense of fulfillment. It was an amazing journey, and although it was not easy to leave, Stephanie and I knew we were being called to a new chapter in our lives.

Q: In addition to being Archdeacon, you are also the Deacon of Good Shepherd in Venice. What brought you to Good Shepherd when you relocated to Venice?

A: Radical Hospitality! Stephanie and I live five minutes from Good Shepherd. When we first moved here, our priority was to find an Episcopal church. Both of us are cradle Episcopalians. When we first walked in, it was the hospitality that went beyond being friendly; we were welcomed with warmth, openness, and authenticity that significantly exceeded our expectations. The culture of hospitality at Good Shepherd was intentional, making us feel noticed, giving us personal attention, and providing excellent follow-through. The Rector called on us within weeks of our first attendance. I have to say that this culture of hospitality at Good Shepherd remains as vibrant today as it was when we first walked through those red doors.

Q: What are you most excited about in your new role as Archdeacon?

A: I am both deeply humbled and extremely excited that Bishop Scharf has called me to this new role. Serving under our new Bishop and working closely with a terrific diocesan staff, I am overjoyed to see how this diocese is moving forward in its mission of evangelism and discipleship, and I am encouraged to witness our community of deacons as they reach out to those who are hurting and hungry. I believe we are a diocese that has a strong foundation guided by the workings and presence of the Holy Spirit. We have strong clergy and lay leadership which is crucial for our success. Personally, I believe that I am at a point in my ministry where my experience as a Deacon over the past 21 years equips me to make a significant contribution to the life of this diocese and specifically to the diaconate. With the gift of the Holy Spirit and a bit of perseverance, we will all make a difference in God’s Kingdom here on earth. Please know that I feel so richly blessed to be a part of this movement.