Last night I went to a orientation about the diaconate and lay ecclesial minister formation program which will start on September 2013, we were given the cost of the formation program and what the formation entails. We start going to a vocational retreat next month, and if we are accepted, we will need to complete a packet before the formation starts. Just on the cost for tuition and books we are looking at approximately $800 per year for the four year program, which will be $3200 in total. I also have to pay for a psychological evaluation that is $400. These expenses are not considering meals, lodging and the travelling expense to the formation; which is a four hour drive away in my diocese.
These expenses are, IF I am a candidate for the diaconate. This is something I have been considering and I want to at least try.
I realize that $800 a year for the formation program is not alot of money, but considering my current situation, it is going to be difficult to cover. I am not asking for donations in the forum, but I am wondering if someone knows of any programs that are able to give scholarships or donations for perspective clergy.
I also realize that most parishes offer some sort of donation to cover the costs of travel or the formation. Currently we are 3 perspective deacons, and I know that my parish is going through a difficult time economically as well. Any one that can point me to the right direction would be greatly appreciated.