Question for Deacons

Looking back at your discernment, what is the one thing you would recommend doing? I know, pray, right? Other than that.

Likewise looking back, what is the one thing you would recommend to prepare for formation? What took you by surprise or what do you wish you had done which you did not?


I’m in the process of discerning myself. I am going to start with “ministry formation” and go from there myself, and have been doing a lot of recommended reading from my spiritual director. That and the Liturgy of the Hours (lauds, and vespers)

what is the one thing you would recommend doing -Have a spiritual director.

Likewise looking back, what is the one thing you would recommend to prepare for formation? - Actually using your spiritual director.

What took you by surprise? The amount of classroom/homework involved.

Really? I hand’t throught of that. Any tips on finding a director?


Find a priest in your area who you would be able to relate to and seems to be spiritually sound himself. I would recommend using your spiritual director as your confessor as well. If you have a retreat house in your area or a monastery, religious priests make great spiritual directors as well.

Thanks. This short thread was insightful. Thanks.

Dcn. Bill has led you well! I too did not take advantage of the advice to find and use a good spiritual director. This is key!

Pray specifically to the Holy Spirit to lead you in the search. Once you get a lead on a SD, meet with that person to see if you feel at peace, the Spirit will let you know if its right.

Word of advice, if after the meeting is over you say to yourself, that guy talks a lot, RUN! My first choice was highly recommended and after two or three meetings, I knew more about him and his views then anything about myself. So, I bolted; I think that priest still holds that against me. Oh well…

Anyway, my spiritual director found me, and he is an incredible priest who listens and cares about the sacred order of Deacons and the men who serve. He listened and guided me well. If I had a question he couldn’t answer, he would research to find what I needed. He has since left our diocese, as he was on loan from another. I miss his incite and friendship.

I had another priest at the time who was my confessor; he is now my SD as well. He’s like my grandfather. :smiley:

Wonderful guys. I would not have thought to do this. Thank you.

I am especially fond of Cistercian spirituality and am thinking of calling the monastery in here in Atlanta. There is also one very gentle priest at my parish, but he pulls no punches in his homilies and in the confessional, a syro-malabar convert to the western Church.

I’ll pray about it and ask God to send someone into my life.


I’m not discerning becoming a Deacon, and the others brought up a great point. If I could make an additional suggestion; fast, Not just from food, but find something you enjoy and give it up.

Lent is a time for growth, a time of spring, so to speak. No reason why your journey through this process cannot be similar!

I most certainly agree with DCNBILL’s advice. A good SD is indispensible in the proces of discernment for deacon aspirants, candidates and for deacons who wish to remain spiritually healthy and grow in our faith.

However, as Lapey advised, I would encourage you to pray to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discernment, but then remain open to wherever the Spirit leads; priest, deacon, nun, layman, or laywoman. There are benefits and drawbacks in every one of those choices, and I am not recommending any one more than another.

I am confident though, that God knows your heart, and has already prepared the perfect spiritual director for you, whoever he or she is. :thumbsup:

What took me by surprise? The depth and intensity of the academic studies definately took my wife and me by surprise, but we love a good challenge, and we thrived in that environment.

As for wishing I had done something differently? I can say only this… “Forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past.”

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit