Diaconate Information Night


#1

My wife and I will be attending the diaconate information night tonight. I have contemplating this since about 2004, and this past summer, we made the first step and met with the director of the diaconate formation program.

I won’t lie, I’m a little nervous about tonight. I don’t know why though. I think I’m afraid of what might be asked tonight or maybe it is just excitement… I don’t know.

I do know this is not my decision, it is God’s and the Church’s, and I am fine with that. I have felt this calling for some time now, and I know the inner peace and joy I feel when I do prison ministry, feeding the poor, taking communion to the elderly, etc. In doing the prison ministry, I have participated in communion service with them, and part of that was giving a reflection or mini homily for the men in attendance. This has really caused me to sit and ponder what God is asking me to do, and it is amazing how He is working though me to just do this basic thing.

The thing that I struggle with though is why God would want me. I’m nobody special… I struggled with alcohol many years ago and have been sober for many years. With this though, I can relate to many of the people I meet in jails and who are homeless. My wife and I struggled with our marriage a few years back too (when I was drinking) but we righted ourselves and have brought ourselves closer to one another though that process. I have also struggled with my health with things I was born with and almost died from. I feel these all have been a blessing in ways. Maybe these were all paths that God wanted me to travel so I could serve people later in my life… I don’t know.

The one thing that I have been having a hard time though with is why do I want to become a deacon. I honestly can’t say other than something has been calling me, and I want to explore is that is God and if this is what He wants of me. I don’t know if that is a good reason to be a deacon or not though.

Anyhow, if you all would pray for my wife and myself tonight as we start this process. I ask that we be open to the Holy Spirit and all that is out there and that it makes me a better man in the end, whatever the outcome.

God bless all,

John


#2

Praying. From what you have said, it sounds like you would be a great deacon.


#3

I have been where you are for at least three years now. My wife is on board and I started the process last summer but withdrew it before consideration when it became clear to me that my wife and my convalidation of our marriage was “too recent” to make me a realistic candidate. I am thinking that if the call is still there next year when they send out information on the next meeting to discuss it, I will go ahead and complete it this time. It is a wonderful thing to feel this call and we grow as we discern it. My involvement in the parish is as strong as ever–I have not had the privilege of doing prison ministry, but I read at mass, am a fourth degree Knight of Columbus (and do tons of work with them), and participate in the cancer ministry, Why Catholic? and other things. I also attend a rosary group during weekdays as much as my work schedule allows. All of these things are a blessing and I thank God for the opportunity to try and make manifest His will, on earth as it is in heaven. Pax tecum. :thumbsup:


#4

You will, no doubt, be asked to articulate why you feel God is calling you. This is part of the application and discernment process. You will not be asked why you think you are worthy. The simple fact is none of us are worthy. God works miracles through imperfect and often broken tools - it is all part of the beauty and mystery of creation.

I was in a similar position to yours about 6 years ago. It is only by the grace of God I was ordained to the diaconate this past January. The best advice I can give to you is to relax, and enjoy the time in discernment. If God and your bishop will it, savor your time in formation before ordination. The time passes swiftly, and you will not pass this way again.

You are in my prayers. May God bless you and all those discerning a vocation.

Peace,

Deacon Patrick


#5

Well said. I mirror Deacon Patrick’s comments.


#6

Thanks all… the information night was good and quite informative. I was pleased to see my old next door neighbor at it as well with his wife.

I tell you though the steps to just get to aspirancy are overwhelming. Applications, fingerprinting, background check, documentations, biography’s. consent forms, pastors letter, references, interviews, a $175 fee and finally a yes or no decision… wow, enough to make your head spin and almost want to just throw the towel in. I know they need to do all this to make sure I am who I say I am, and that I do not have any impediments, but I was just not aware of the volume of it all. I also was not aware that the fee was so high.

Nothing is life worth anything comes easy though, so I will trudge through this whole thing and just get it done and trust in God and the bishop.

I have to complete the initial application (not sure why they call it that… ‘Initial’ application… does that mean I will have to fill out more applications) and submit the $175 fee by March 2nd which is their deadline. That’s not much time, and it will be tough to pull that much out of our monthly budget in this short of a time. I still have two kids in college, so we have a tight budget. I know God will help me find a way to make this all work if it is to be.

Can someone please explain what the psychological test is all about, what they are asking me (and my wife I believe) and when do most programs see this (before aspirancy or after you are in aspirancy). I forgot to ask that question last night and plan to ask the director of the program as I thought I heard that it was in the actual aspirancy portion.

Also, why do they want to interview the entire family. I get my wife and myself, by why the kids who are away at college and no longer live at home really.

God bless all…

John


#7

Just an update… I am filling out the application form and one of the questions asks what medications that you take. I have no problem answering this question, but why do they need to know this?


#8

It is likely to know of your health situation and if you are taking any medications that would alter your judgment and such.

Full disclosure of your state in life is important in this discernment on your behalf and that of the Church, be open and honest to all questions from the formation team and ask any questions for the things that you do not understand.

May God bless you in your discernment, my prayers are with you.


#9

The Church invests much time and resources into forming deacons, so they are interested in your health accordingly.

If a candidate has a debilitating disease, the diocese may not want to accept them.

Candidates for priestly vocations go through all of this, too.

There are too many different psychological tests for anyone to give you any guidance about it. Just answer the questions from the psychologist honestly.

Keep praying and finish the application process.

If all goes well, there will be additional application elements, typically personal interviews by a variety of people (priests / deacons).

God bless,


#10

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