But let's not get ahead of ourselves!

The following are considered the minimum requirements for candidates applying for admission to the Permanent Diaconate Programme.

An assumption is made that the candidate is married with small children. Appropriate requirement adjustments will be made for candidates who are single, and candidates who are married without small children.

MARRIAGE - The couple must be in a valid Catholic marriage. They must have been married for five years, and the marriage must be stable. A man who has been divorced and has not received an annulment will not be accepted into the deacon formation programme. A man who has been divorced and has received an annulment and remarried must be married in the church for at least five years before applying to the deacon programme.
AGE - Minimum age for application to the programme is 30 years, with the understanding a man must be 35 years of age before he can be ordained. Maximum age for application to the programme is 65 years.
MEMBERSHIP - The man must have been a member of the Catholic Church for five years.
EVALUATION - The man and his wife will have a personal interview with the pastor, the Deacon Programme Director and Bishop Pat. The man and his wife will take the psychological exams required for entering the programme. A statement of health from the man's doctor is required.
CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY - If there is a history of chemical dependency on the part of the man or wife, the individual must be a non user for two years. The individual must be involved with some support group, i.e. AA, prayer group, etc. If the person applying is an adult child of an alcoholic, he must have recognized and addressed in some manner the issues related to the alcohol dependency which affected his life.
COMMITMENT - A person applying to the deacon programme is asked to give assurance that if he is ordained he will be able to serve in the diocese from three to five years. The couple must commit themselves to be present for the weekly classes and days of recollection and retreats provided for the members of the formation programme.
INVOLVEMENT - The couple must belong to an identifiable parish community. The couple must have shown some involvement in the church, e.g. parish council, Lector, Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist; Marriage Encounter, Family Groups or some other church related organization. The couple must demonstrate an ability to work with the pastor, parish team and other parish groups. They must be able to resolve conflicts with all parish groups.
UNDERSTANDING - The man and his wife must have a clear understanding of the following:
o If married, he may not remarry if his wife dies after he is ordained.
o If single, he may not marry after ordination.
o He must be in the programme a minimum of four years before he can apply for ordination.
o In general a deacon cannot expect a salary for his work. He can expect to be reimbursed for his expenses.
o The man and his wife must have a spiritual director and meet with him or her on a regular basis.
o Bishop Pat has established the following priority of responsibility for those in the programme. Family responsibilities come first, job responsibilities second, ministry and/or formation responsibilities come third.
Minimum Requirements
Deacon Formation Application Requirements

The Mystery of Vocations

Our first calling from God is marked by the reception of the sacraments of Christian initiation. Christ calls some of his disciples from this body of believers and the Church, discerning their vocational charism, asks the Bishop to ordain them to a service of the whole Church.

Discerning your own call is not straightforward you need the help of your loved ones, your pastor and the community. Some of the spiritual and evangelical qualities you should recognise in yourself are

a sound faith;

good Christian reputation;

active involvement in the Church’s apostolate;

personal integrity, maturity, and holiness;

regular participation in the Church’s sacramental life;

evidence of recognized, ongoing commitment to the Church’s life and service;

participation in faith enrichment opportunities (e.g., retreats, days of recollection, adult education programming);

a positive and stable marriage, if married, or a mature celibate state of life, if single;

active membership in a Christian community;

capacity for obedience and fraternal communion;

and a deep spirituality and prayer life.

 

The presence of these qualities, experienced in kindness and humility, may demonstrate a call to the
Order of Deacons.