I’m currenty 26, married with 2 beautiful girls and serving in the military. Ever since I re-discovered my faith I’ve felt a calling to serve (probably why I ended up in the military) . I discerned religious life for a little over a year in college. I always had questions and curiosity regarding the diaconate, I even spoke with the deacon at our church in college regarding it. It’s been a few years, and I know I still have many to go, but I’d like to hear if anyone has any advice for someone discerning a vocation in the diaconate.
I think the minimum age is 35. I’m 38 and looked into it and was told “off the record” that I would be discouraged from applying now because of having young children at home. My deacon was 48 and was the youngest in his class.
Good luck in finding your calling! Mine is to train altar servers and assist at Mass. It’s been a great time!
Talk to the head of vocations at your Diocese. Pull up your Diocesan web page. There should be a link or contact information.
While I have no information to offer you other than to contact your diocese, I want to encourage you in this discernment. We have four Deacons in our parish and they are the most wonderful men. Each of them oozes the love of the Lord in his own particular way and I love and admire all of them.
Keep inquiring about it.
Collect catalogs of course requirements.
Maybe, they will let you take courses here and there.
Many seminaries admit lay people who are simply very interested in studying and learning.
Do self-study or independent study in or out of school … maybe at Jewish institutions for Hebrew … in Latin, Hebrew, and Greek to better understand the Old and New Testaments as well as writers such as Augustine & Aquinas and the Early Church Fathers.
English wasn’t invented until much later … and many translations leave much to be desired … if you become able to explain difficult passages it would be a big help … deacons spend a LOT of time in apologetics and adult ed at the parish level …
The Catholic Church has 23 “rites” or “churches” … 22 of them allow for a married priesthood … all except the Roman rite.
Thank you for all the advice, as I mentioned I’m serving in the military and unfortunately the Archdiocese of Military Service does not ordain deacons. I will still speak with our base chaplain regarding this. I am aware that I am way too young for diaconate formation (the average being 35 years old, some allowing 30 year old men into formation), I also know most diocese will not ordain men with children under 5, but I am still discerning as I feel a call to serve. I will look into couses, thankfully I’m in school so I can take some elective geared towards philosophy, theology, and religions (most of which are requirements for diaconate formation). I am aware there are other Rites which allow priests to marry, but I have always been a part of and wish to remain a part of the Latin Rite. Thank you.
If you do not have a spiritual director I would recommend that you obtain one to assist you with your discernment and your spiritual life in general. That and keep your possible vocation prominent in your prayer life. My God bless you on your journey, wherever that may lead.