26 and want to be a deacon how do I prepare


Hey guys

    I have been decerning my vocation for quite some time now trying to figure out if I wanted to be a priest, decon, or franciscan. I have just about concluded that I want to be a decon however I am too young and can't enter the seminary for another 9 years. What can I do to help prepare myself over the next 9 years for becoming a decon?


I’m sure others can give you much better advice, but what I’ve seen is that you should get very actively involved in your Church’s ministries to start.


Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance & direction in your discernment.


Well, first, its “deacon”. Second, your math is also off. You can’t be ordained as a deacon until you are 35, but you can enter the seminary 4 to 5 years before that, depending on how long is the formation program in your diocese.

Your wait is far shorter than you think.


Ok thanks I thought I had to wait till I was at least 35 befor I could enter the seminary

In the mean time should I get a theology degree online. I already have a history degree and an MBA.


If you want to be a priest you can get started whenever.

Generally speaking, you don’t bother being a permanent deacon unless you’re married. You can remain a deacon after you’re married but if you become a deacon before you’re married then your vocation is celibacy (and you would typically move on to being a priest)

There’s no need to get a theology degree because the program to becoming a deacon will educate you in theology. If you want to that’s all well and good. It’s your money. Permanent deacons come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, and unlike priests, it’s not expected for them to be theology majors.

Read Catholic books, but I think perhaps even more importantly, find ways to involve yourself in parish life ahead of time. The focus of the diaconate is on service more so than on ministering the sacraments. The sacraments are chiefly the duty of the priest, who can minister all of them (except for Holy Orders). I’m 29 and am also drawn towards the diaconate and I have a daily regimen in my journal of reading good spiritual books and being involved in the life of the parish. This is habituating me to service ahead of time so that I may more easily slide into the role if/when the time comes.

The permanent diaconate requires the consent of both the deacon and his wife. If you’re not married but you see being a permanent deacon in your future, get yourself a strong, virtuous, service-driven woman.

Pray to God on a daily basis. Petitions for yourself, petitions for others, and thanksgiving. This should already be done by every Catholic on Earth, but all the more so if the diaconate is beckoning you. You’re going to become a public figure within the diocese. People will look at you. You must present a good witness.


By God’s grace, aggressively seek out every evil in your life and put it to the sword. This is accomplished through persevering in prayer, receiving the sacraments, and pouring yourself out in service & work. Your life must become a donation of yourself.

In as far as possible, put yourself into positions in life where you are frequently working with people. Deacons (or priests) aren’t cloistered. You’re going to be out and about.

Cultivate a deep relationship with Mary, your Mother. Love her with all of your heart and lean on her for strength and protection. Attach yourself to her. If this is difficult, then make your first prayer, “Mary, pray for me to love you and love praying to you”.

Add beneficial routines to your life. Don’t get up and not have a clue what you’re going to do for the day.



(And in our diocese, they have begun explicitly mentioning that one can begin formation for the diaconate at 30.)


Have you contacted the office for vocations in your diocese? They will have the best information to get you started, plus help you find a spiritual director.


Find a spiritual director and start praying Lauds and Vespers daily :).


I think your idea of getting a theology degree is wonderful. No, a deacon is not required to have a theology degree, but it sure does help when parishioners come to you with theological questions. And you’ve done a lot of the work already.

It would also be terrific if you could talk very seriously to a priest about your vocation. If you don’t want to marry, and marriage isn’t for everyone, you might ask yourself why you want to be a deacon rather than a priest.



I am going to contact a priest soon.

I want to get married but even if I don’t One thing that really drew me to be a deacon is part of my vocation that I struggle with was being a lay person that follows in the footsteps of saint Homobonus who was a buisness owner who gave almost all his profit to help the poor. If I don’t get married I was thinking of owning my own buisness and only keeping enough to live survive. I would take care of my basic needs but that is about it. Now instead of the church giving me health insurance and room and board I do that myself plus help the church and others with my money. A deacon can have a secular job that allows me to do this a priest can’t spend the time needed to do things like own a buisness.

So instead of being a priest or a lay buisness man that gives which was a struggle in my vocation I can be a deacon and a buisness person that gives a deacons can do all the things that I would find most rewarding about being a priest.


Thank you for explaining, and I think your intentions are wonderful. I hope you find a priest to be your spiritual director soon. I’m a theology student, and I love it so much. I have learned more than I thought possible, and there is always more to learn. The Church needs more people like you.

Good luck in all you do, and God bless.


If I had 4-5 years to prepare I would focus on:

a) my spiritual life: attend Mass frequently, go to confession frequently, start or continue praying the Liturgy of the Hours, see a spiritual director, pray in other ways you find fruitful (rosary, lectio divina, etc.), spiritual reading

b) my apostolic life: get involved in parish activities, especially in the sorts of service activities that are part of a deacon’s ministry

c) my educational life: since you mentioned getting a theology degree that’s certainly a possibility; if not, then perhaps there are other classes available in your diocese (get certified as a catechist or take adult education type classes that may be offered)


The University of Dayton give classes online, some for college credit. If interested, Google VLCFF (Virtual Learning Center for Faith Formation).

The school I go to awards certificates as well as Bachelor’s degrees and Master’s degrees. There are special programs for deacons - on campus or online. If the OP wants to know my school, just send me a PM.


TK gave you solid advice Fighter.
Allow me to add something to it. The verses are Rm.12:1-2. This is a spiritual doorway for you if you take it seriously.
It sounds as if you have not heard specifically from God. Be assured that your Father already has plans for you. Jer.29:11. What he has already prepared for us is much better than we could imagine ourselves. That’s why the Jesus said " Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and then all these things will be added unto you."

This means don’t pursue any of your wants, but pursue the King with all your might first. This is the only path of the true saint and servant of God. Once you learn to pray and worship your way into the Presence of God, you have done 99% of the work. Everything will be a reward for your faithfulness after that. Remember, God opens the doors, not us. But, let me assure you, the first part is a struggle. Everything and the devil will try to distract you. It will take from 4-12 mo. to before you the relationship to enter into the very Presence. You will need to build up from 5 min. a day to 3 or 4 hours a day and fasting for a week or 2. Yes,I’m serious, this is the way to prove your faithfulness to God. During this time you must forsake everything Elson and put all your might into it.

Too hard. you say? Try looking up everything Jesus said about being a disciple. It’s only for the few. Very few! But please believe me, living God’s will is by far the best thing you can have and the rewards are out of this world. :slight_smile:

There is much, much more to know and do such as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

If you have any questions feel free to ask,



I think some great posts have already been made, but let me add my two cents as I am discerning the calling to be a deacon myself. My interest into this started about ten years ago. Currently, I am waiting to see if I am accepted into the aspirancy program that will start this fall.

Some of the things I will echo is this. Give yourself to helping the disadvantaged and the marginalized. You can do this by helping at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, jail ministry, visit the sick in the hospital or the aging in nursing home, and other things like this. If you do decide that you want to be a deacon and take that first step, the vocational director will want to see what you have been doing to emulate the life of a deacon. Much of what a deacon does most don’t see because he is doing it outside of the mass. Find a deacon mentor who might help you see what it is they do. In fact, find see if you can shadow a few as they will all have different callings.

Get a spiritual director as he can help you transcend some of these thoughts you are having and find out what your motivation is. Is it a calling from God or is it something else.

Maybe as opposed to getting a theology degree, how about taking some scripture classes? That is the one thing that I wish I would have done as if I am accepted into aspirancy, it would be nice to have a leg up on some of that. My spiritual director and I have talked about this, but it was really too late for me to do anything about it. The last scripture classes I had were in high school, so that was some time ago.

I don’t know what your prayer life is like, but deepen it if you can. I pray Lauds and Vespers each day and I also look at the Sunday reading and gospel and write what that means to me personally. I keep this in a journal and it has been a blessing.

Anyhow, I will pray for you and I hope you will do the same for me. Enjoy where the journey takes you and trust in God.

God bless,



I would advice you to additionally educate yourself in the topic of theology. So I mean study the Bible as carefully as possible. Also read a lot of the Church fathers, start with the very early ones and then work your way to the later Church fathers(although this might be too much work, you don’t need 100%).
Also read different catechisms, not only the CCC, but also the roman catechism of Trent. Thomas from Aquin should also be observed. Also very important is apologetic, because you need to be able to answer the important questions, to protect the people from being lured by the heretics. Also very important is good knowledge of the Church history, especially the events that saved us but are often twisted against the Church. Encyclicals of the popes(also the one before vat2).

Also do some mathematics, this logic will help you more than any philosophy study.

You cannot completely rely on the seminar, it is insufficient for today problems, because formal education is always not enough.


Thank you everyone.


Generally speaking, you don’t bother being a permanent deacon unless you’re married. You can remain a deacon after you’re married but if you become a deacon before you’re married then your vocation is celibacy (and you would typically move on to being a priest)

This is incorrect as the diaconate is a separate and not a stepping stone to the priesthood.

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