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Selection for Diaconate Formation

This is a process to determine the suitability and readiness of an individual for entry into diaconal formation. The final decision concerning a possible ordination to the diaconate rests with the Bishop.

ACCEPTANCE INTO THE DIACONATE FORMATION PROGRAM DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A DECISION THAT AN INDIVIDUAL IS, IN FACT, CALLED TO THE ORDER OF DEACON,

but that there are indications that a call may exist and should be pursued through a discernment process.

The response to the announcement by Bishop Pat to introduce the permanent diaconate to the Auckland Diocese is positive and encouraging. The vast majority of men and women who attended the public meetings welcomed the move. Those who had reservations freely expressed their concerns.

A recurring question at all the meetings was, what sort of man might be ordained and would he be an impediment to existing pastoral ministries?

Bishop Pat reiterated that a call to the diaconate is a call from God! The discernment process reassures us that those who 'make it to ordination' are truly the servants the Church is seeking to function in the order of deacons.

Aspirants to the diaconate, pastoral leaders and the curious may find it useful to learn how the discernment process works and realize that the establishment of a deacon in a community is truly a blessing.

Selection for Diaconate Formation
Candidates for the diaconate have certain personal, social, and spiritual qualities that indicate readiness in responding to God's call. A vocation to ordained ministry comes from Christ. Among the gifts which Christ gives to the Church is the capacity to discern when such a vocation is truly present. This involves a careful judgment and a prayerful and deliberative process which the Church does not take lightly. The applicant must ensure, by a serious process of discernment, that the diaconate would be advantageous to his relationship with God, his family and the Church.

There is a solid basis for this in Scripture. Paul advises Timothy to exercise his pastoral responsibility carefully in selecting deacons for the Church at Ephesus.

The Permanent Diaconate is a Vocation to Ordained Ministry
Requirements

Our first calling from God is marked by the reception of the sacraments of Christian Initiation … more

Practical Suggestions

Discernment is an art and it is learned by doing … more