[quote="mountainman99, post:7, topic:76178"]
So that would mean that a 30 year old married man could begin his studies if the program were to take 5 years correct? Aren't there other requirements as well? Such as how long you have been married and whether or not you have small children? Maybe those are more on a per diocese basis. I have felt what may be a calling to the diaconate lately, and parts of my life have lined up in a way that God may be planning this for me, but it's too early to tell. I mean I just got married in May! I have lots of questions, but I'm restraining myself as best as I can because I want to be certain I'm not dreaming this up. While I do not want to be so patient to act that I ignore the Lord, I know that if this is His will, then I'm the only one who can get in the way of it.
I am in formation and scheduled to be ordained one year from now, December 11th, 2010. We have completed four years, one to go. I can assure you from my experience thus far, if you have been recently married this is not a good idea just yet.
My wife and I have been married 22 years, I am 43 years old and it has definitely added pressure to our lives. We are stronger now than ever, but I don't think newlyweds should get themselves into such a rigorous schedule of school work. It literally is school in all sense of the word, book work, homework, tests, and retreats. We are finishing up clinical pastoral training this month where we are assigned to ministries, I had a nursing home some have prison or hospital ministry. Fours hours a week in ministry, 8 hour Saturday (two Saturdays a month) class with studies and visit reports, plus New testament 2.5 hrs, Cannon Law2.5 hrs., Spirituality 2 hrs., and don’t forget Homiletics 3 hrs. (one Friday and Saturday a month),. That was our schedule this semester. So on top of the regular family and fulltime work schedule, you have this. There are no regrets though I will admit.
They repeatedly remind us our first vocation is marriage and parenting, we have three kids; two boys 17 & 14 and a girl 15. Our entire family has benefited from the formation process.
If you are just married then I am sure you are open to kids, one of my classmates and his wife just had a baby, and there has been talk of asking him to drop out. The emphasis for a family man needs to be family first, simply put; a divorced deacon will probably no longer work as a deacon. That is a constant reminder we get from our deaconate leader.
To answer your first question, yes a man of 30 could begin if his diocese allows it, but he will not be able to ordain until 35, same goes for an unmarried man in the US. The US Bishops hold married or unmarried to the same age requirement. The 25 year old requirement in the CCL does not supersede the more stringent rule of an individual Church. If I can find this document I will post it.
God bless you in your faith journey,