There is no simple answer to the question “Am I called to be a deacon?” However, we believe that the person of faith through personal prayer, competent spiritual direction and recognition that the Church has the obligation to discern if such a vocation is truly present can discover God’s will.
Certain personal, social and spiritual qualities are required for ordained ministry. These are generally of two kinds: those that pattern the candidate in the likeness of Christ and those required to meet the special needs of the local Church at a particular time and place.
Anyone contemplating a vocation to the diaconate should be actively involved in ministry in his local community and/or parish. A candidate’s desire to be a deacon is never sufficient in itself. He must, in addition, wait on the prayerful, enlightened decision of the Church.
Criteria for Entry
Men seeking application into Diaconate Formation Program come with the understanding that the diaconate is a call to a dedicated life of service, to a specific vocation. The deacon emerges out of the universal diakonia to stand in the midst of the community as one who makes present in his person and deeds the servant character of Christ and Church. Through the sacramental ordination the deacon becomes a public sign to the world that the Church is authentically servant. The deacon is the animator and promoter of the common service of the Church.
- Be at least 31 years old or not older than 62 at the beginning of the four-year program.
- Be a practicing Roman Catholic and active in a Sacramento Diocese parish for five consecutive years or more.
- Have demonstrated leadership abilities either within the parish or community organizations.
- Be in good physical and mental health.
- Have sufficient financial and employment stability.
- For married men: have been in a marriage sanctified by the Sacramento of Matrimony at least five years
- Have the positive consent of his wife, acceptance of his children, and a well adjusted family life.
- Be sensitive to the time and needs of his family and be willing to make a commitment of talent and time and have sufficient time for diaconal formation and ministry.
- Possess the desire and capacity for growth and continued education to develop skills for ministry.
- Possess an eagerness for prayer and acceptance of spiritual formation.
- Have a Basic Catechist Certificate or be in the process of obtaining one.
- Be faithful to the traditions/teachings of the Church; be open to the awareness of contemporary expressions in theology.
- Possess reading and writing skills in order to participate fully in the academic program.
- Have no irregularities & other impediments, i.e, committed heresy; committed an act of voluntary homicide or procured a completed abortion or positively cooperated in either; ever mutilated yourself or another gravely and maliciously or attempted suicide; ever attempted to exercise an act of orders reserved to bishops or priests, while either lacking that order or prohibited from its exercise by some declared or imposed canonical penalty; ever been ordained to the Priesthood or the Permanent Diaconate. (Code of Canon Law c.751)