Aspirancy Year in Permanent Diaconate Formation

Can anyone here share what the first year of aspirancy is like? I know there are psychological tests, retreats, meetings with wives (if married) and other non-academic matters. Are there books and course materials as well in the first year? Thank you and many blessings to all.

Hi Shawnbm

I can tell you what my aspirancy year was like in the Archdiocese of Boston. I am sure that other locations will differ.

I am about to enter my first year of candidancy. Last year was my aspirancy year.

We had class Monday and Wednesday 7:00-9:30 and also met once a month on a Saturday. Wives were required to attend classes except once a month when they met by themselves (during class time). Wives did not attend the Saturday sessions. We followed a typical school schedule September to May.

Monday we had two, half year academic classes (Old Testament and New Testament). Wednesdays were more of a discussion/seminar with guest speakers on a variety of spiritual and social issues and diaconate topics. At the Saturday events all classes met together for prayer and some group exercises.

Both classes had reading assignments (not very heavy) and writing assignments as well. We had quizzes and tests in OT/NT.

We had 3 weekend retreats- one for just the men, second for couples, and the third was a working weekend for the men with a group that serves the poor.

That’s it for the bare bones logistics.

Beyond that, I can say that it has been the most meaningful year of my life. I met some amazing people and had my eyes opened to issues I never would have been exposed to. I am still discerning- perhaps always will be- but I have learned so much about the Church and myself.

Feel free to PM me if you like.

Thank you so very much, Reagent6. Although I shall PM you, I wished to thank you publicly. I was beginning to think my thread was of little interest as so many looked but did not comment. I want so much to better understand what diaconate formation involves in more if a brass tacks way. Thanks again, and many blessings.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit