What are the requirements for a married man to be ordained in the Roman Church as a married Deacon?
Other than being a Catholic in good standing (all of their sacraments) I don’t know of any universal standard. The minimum age, length of study, etc. vary from diocese to diocese if I recall.
Would the candidates have to do a test? or have a degree in theology and philosophy?
In our archdiocese, the archbishop makes very, very certain that the man’s wife is on board with the vocation. The marriage comes first. Besides, a vocation to the diaconate requires considerable sacrifice on the part of the deacon’s wife, and she must be free in her acceptance of that sacrifice as much as her husband is. A responsible bishop won’t foist that off on her against her will, nor allow her husband to coerce her in any way. If there is serious dysfunction in the marriage or the family–all families have some degree of human dysfunction in them, I don’t mean that–then the bishop would also be unlikely to add the work of a deacon to the man’s plate. (Of course, the marriage must be valid, too; that much is obvious.)
Those are the practical issues that I know of.
Would the man approach his bisop? or would the bishop approach him? and what about age, do you have to be married for a certain ammount of years? and what would be some of the problems for the wife?
no amount of years. once you receive Holy Orders, you cannot receive the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, so you have to be married first before being ordained. technically it can happen on the same day as long as the marriage comes first. of course in the real world it won’t happen like that, but just stressing that as long as marriage comes first, no matter the length of time in between
approach your priest first when you discern and he’ll guide you. then ask for the right time to approach your bishop
as for age, it has been mentioned that its up to the bishop. i think the common age for a permanent deacon is 35 years old, but again it will vary from archdiocese to archdiocese
This is what Canon Law says on the matter:
Can. 1031 §1. The presbyterate is not to be conferred except on those who have completed the twenty-fifth year of age and possess sufficient maturity; an interval of at least six months is to be observed between the diaconate and the presbyterate. Those destined to the presbyterate are to be admitted to the order of deacon only after completing the twenty-third year of age.
§2. A candidate for the permanent diaconate who is not married is not to be admitted to the diaconate until after completing at least the twenty-fifth year of age; one who is married, not until after completing at least the thirty-fifth year of age and with the consent of his wife.
§3. The conference of bishops is free to establish norms which require an older age for the presbyterate and the permanent diaconate.
§4. A dispensation of more than a year from the age required according to the norm of §§1 and 2 is reserved to the Apostolic See.
Here is the course of study for ‘permanent’ Deacons in my archdiocese ( Detroit).
There are programs for both Bachelors and Masters level work. The canidate may choose either route.
In addition to the academic work, there are also monthy meetings for general formation and regular meetings with one’s spiritual director.
There should be a vocations director or head of diaconal formation for the diocese you may be able to contact this person directly or through your parish priest.
Also not a bad idea to get a spiritual director for discernment if one does not already have one.
I would like to add that very few diocese just let deacons apply for the job. In most diocese, a priest has to recommend the deacon either at the bishop’s asking (because the bishop thinks that the parish needs a deacon), or because the priest himself thinks he needs a deacon. Either way, to approach the bishop about being a deacon seems a little brash to me. Again, I believe some diocese are different (if they are different, then they are VERY few).
There is an age requirement as pointed out Phemie. You can be married before hand, but cannot be married afterwards (even if your wife dies).
Here is a link to the requirements for Ordination as a permanent deacon in my Archdiocese (St. Louis).
Your location indicates you may be in the Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia. A quick internet search indicates that Cardinal Pell has recently launched a new effort to expand the permanent diaconate in the church there. There is a new website that probably has most of the information you are looking for relating to your local church:
In Arlington VA we are to select a spiritual director after you are in the aspirancy portion of the program (first year) who is approved by the director of the Deacon formation program. We have a very lengthy application process - includes essays, wife essay and letter of accent, medical review, psycholgical tests, police background checks, finance review… Total its a five year program
Since I am 19 an unmarried, I don’t think I’m eligible to be a married deacon. But thank you so much for the information, it was mainly out of curiosity.
The formation for our deacons involves a 5-year period of study which culminates in a MA in Theology. There are arrangements made if the canidate does not have a college degree.
You’re not even eligible to be an unmarried deacon, this is true.
Keep in mind, as well, that while married men may be ordained to the permanent diaconate, ordained men may normally not marry after ordination, even those who were married when they were ordained. IOW, except in exceptional circumstances, a deacon may not re-marry if his wife dies or if his marriage turns out to have been invalid.
What’s the age of ordination for married men in the various Eastern Catholic Churches?
since they normally ordain married men into the priesthood, it would be the same as the ordination age for unmarried men
for the actual age, i think this question is best asked on our Eastern Catholicism forum
there is no such official order as “married deacon” but a married man may be ordained as a permanent deacon following the prescribed process of discernment and formation, if he meets the requirements of age, proper disposition for the sacrament of Holy Orders and so forth. The place to inquire is your diocesan office of vocations or the diaconate formation program in your diocese. Here the formation is 3 years, the process was just revived 3 years ago, this group will be ordained this year. They had to be between the ages of 35 and 55, and those who are married require the approval and cooperation of their spouses, who also attend their own formation classes. They must of course be fully initiated Catholics living in conformity with Catholic moral law and practice, including that on marriage and family.