Permanent Deacons

Deacon Hal Welch

Delegate for Permanent Deacons
1933 Spielbusch
Toledo, OH 43604-5360
419-244-6711
hwelch@toledodiocese.org

 

 

Deacon Jim Caruso
Coordinator for the Permanent Deacon Candidate Formation Program
jcaruso@toledodiocese.org

Mrs. Bonnie Rybak
Administrative Assistant
brybak@toledodiocese.org

419-244-6711

They should be tested first; then, if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. 1 Tm. 3:10

There are four phases to Deacon Formation:

  1. Inquiry Sessions: The Inquiry sessions are designed to provide further insight into the vocation of diaconate and are key in helping perspective applicants and their spouses (if married) discern how this will affect their lives.

  2. Aspirancy Path

  3. Candidacy Path

  4. Post-Ordination Formation

Deacon Formation: A process of inquiry, discernment, prayer and study that includes the four dimensions of formation - human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral

Inquiry Sessions - Fall of 2020
For Prospective Applicants and Spouses

The first stirrings of a vocation to the diaconate emerge as a person reflects on his relationship with God and the nature of God calling him to a more profound bond and service. “The history . . . of every Christian vocation, is the history of an inexpressible dialogue between God and human beings, between the love of God who calls and the freedom of individuals who respond lovingly to him.” (National Directory #165) This is a journey that is personal and individual but it also involves the church community with special attention to the wife (if married) and family. Parish communities, staffs, and pastors are important resources. Pastors are of a particular resource because they are the ones who initially present an individual for consideration for formation as a candidate for Holy Orders as a deacon.

A GUIDE FOR DISCERNING A CALL TO THE DIACONATE

O Lord, help me to know your will for me. Let your light shine in the depths of my heart that I may know what you want me to do with my life. Help me believe that you have a special plan for me. Lord, I know I pass through this life only once; help me decide how you want me to make a difference. Like our Blessed Mother, give me the wisdom to hear your voice and the courage to answer your call. Above all give me peace of mind and heart. I offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Qualities of a Good Deacon:

A deacon:

1. Has a sense of being called and a desire for holiness.

2. Is a man of the Word.

3. Is a man of the Church.

4. Is a man of Community.

5. Has a desire to serve Christ in the sick, the poor, and the outcast.

6. Leads a balanced life.

 

Questions to ponder prayerfully:

1. What attracts you about being a deacon?

2. Who has encouraged you and why?

3. What does your wife and family say at this point? What questions do they have?

4. What gifts, education, and experience would help you to be a good deacon?

5. What is your relationship right now with the Church? With your parish?

6. What ministries do you currently participate in at your parish?

7. How do you feel about doing academic work, writing papers, taking tests again?

8. How do you feel about public speaking? What is your experience?

9. What concerns you most right now about the possibility of being a deacon?

 

"I think I have a call to be a Deacon."

The Inquiry sessions are designed to provide further insight into the vocation of diaconate and are key in helping perspective applicants and their spouses (if married) discern how this will affect their lives.

Prospective applicants will receive an application only after attending and fulfilling requirements of the Inquiry Sessions.

Session 1: Applicants
Session 2: Applicants and Spouse

CRITERIA FOR CONSIDERATION

  • A Catholic man in good standing in the Church and fully initiated in the faith.
  • Must be between the ages of 31 and 59
  • If married, must be in a valid marriage under church law. Spouse must provide support and consent for the husband to enter the formation processes.
  • Must have completed the required  Mysterium Christi Diocesan Institute: Catholic Basic Seminars or the equivalent education from an accredited Roman Catholic University or College. This is evaluated on an individual case basis. The required classes include:
    • Introduction to Scripture
    • The Creed
    • Prayer and Sacraments
    • Catholic Moral Teachings
  • He will have demonstrated his ability to respond to needs for service and to enable others to do so.
  • Must be in dialogue with and  have Pastor's endorsement.

Deacon Formation: A process of inquiry, discernment, prayer and study that includes the four dimensions of formation - human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral

ASPIRANCY PATH

One year, consisting of nine (9) monthly sessions.

Course of Study

  • Discernment and Call to Holy Orders
  • Prayer and Liturgy of the Hours and Lectio Divina
  • Spirituality of the Diaconate
  • Spiritual Direction
  • Theology of the Diaconate
  • History of the Diaconate
  • Diaconate, Marriage and the Family
  • Expectations and preparation for Candidacy
  • Philosophy

 

Typical Schedule

      

  •  Friday
  •  6:00 pm   Arrival
  •  6:45 pm   Evening Prayer
  •  7:00 pm   Session I
  •  9:30 pm   Night Prayer
  •  
  • Saturday
  •  7:30 am  Mass
  •  8:00 am  Breakfast
  •  8:45 am  Morning Prayer
  •  9:00 am  Session II
  • 10:30 am Session III
  • 12:00 pm Lunch
  •   1:00 pm Session IV
  •   3:00 pm Departure

During this period of discernment, the aspirant is introduced to the study of theology, to a deeper knowledge of the spirituality and ministry of the deacon, and to a more attentive discernment of his call that includes Spiritual Direction. (National Directory #187.)

Deacon Formation: A process of inquiry, discernment, prayer and study that includes the four dimensions of formation - human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral.

CANDIDACY PATH

Three years, each consisting of nine (9) monthly sessions

Course of Study

  • Ministerial Identity & Vocation
  • Sacred Scripture
  • Moral Theology
  • Church History
  • Christology, Trinity
  • Fundamental Theology, Ecclesiology
  • Worship, Liturgy, and Sacraments
  • Canon Law, Marriage & Family
  • Evangelization and Catechesis
  • Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs
  • Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care
  • Service and  Justice

 

Typical Schedule

  •   6:45  pm   Evening Prayer
  •   7:00  pm   Session I
  •  10:00 pm   Night Prayer
  • Saturday
  •   8:00  am  Breakfast
  •   8:30  am  Morning Prayer
  •   9:00  am  Session II
  • 12:00  pm  Lunch
  •   1:00  pm  Session III
  •   5:00  pm  Supper
  •   7:00  pm  Holy Hour
  •   8:00  pm  Social
  • Sunday
  •   8:00   Breakfast
  •   8:45   Morning Prayer
  •   9:00   Session IV
  • 11:00   Mass
  • 12:00   Departure

Deacon Formation: A process of inquiry, discernment, prayer and study that includes the four dimensions of formation - human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral.

POST-ORDINATION FORMATION

The newly ordained deacon will complete a total of 18 hours for the first year of post-ordination formation and 12 hours each year thereafter.   These hours will include the Deacon Bi-Annual Summer Convocation and Continuing Education Assemblies. The hours allow the newly-ordained deacon to pursue formation which fits the particular needs of his life and ministry. The deacon must sign a Pastoral Agreement with his Pastor and have quarterly meetings with him for the first year.

A three-year plan is to be developed with parish, diocesan and personal needs in mind that include the following:

  • Annual Retreat
  • Deacon Bi-Annual Convocation
  • Continuing Education Assemblies
  • Other Formation/Education that includes theological studies, spiritual formation, pastoral formation and human skills.

APPLICATION

Required Documents

  1. A completed application form

  2. Spiritual Autobiography

  3. Certificates of Baptism, Confirmation and Marriage, if married

  4. Pastor’s Letter of Recommendation

  5. Proof of age: Must be 35 or older at ordination

  6. A recent photograph of applicant and wife, if married

  7. Initial Statement of Consent, handwritten by the wife

  8. Letters of Recommendation

  9. Medical Exam Report from your physician

  10. An official transcript of previous and/or current academic studies

  11. A written report from the rector of any previous house in which the candidate has spent time in formation

  12. Background check  (FBI and BCI)

  13. Proof of legal residency in the diocese

  14. A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s employer

  15. Aptitude and Psychological Assessment

  16. Consent form regarding Psychological Assessment