Suggestions for "pre-discernment" to Permanent Diaconate


#1

I had a question for our permanent deacons who float around here. When you were first discerning the call to the permanent diaconate how did you prepare for your discernment?

I guess I am wondering what suggestions permanent deacons might have to someone that is starting to feel the call to the diaconate. I have wondered on and off over the past 5 years if I am called to service. Since I am only 40 and most of our deacons are in their late 50s or retired I just thought I was way too young to even consider it. Over the last 18 months to 2 years I keep feeling that God is calling me to service. Last month after my wife and I gave a talk on the sacrament of marriage to an RCIA class one of our deacons came up and asked me when I was going to enter formation. I was stunned because I have never really talked to anyone about it other than my wife. After talking to him and the other deacon I really started to consider if others might see what I have tried to brush off as something for the future.

So my diocese only has one class in formation at a time and the next aspirant phase doesn't start for 3 years. Before I approach the vocation director for the permanent diaconate I want to open my heart and ears to listen more closely to the call for lack of a better term. Any suggestions on readings, prayers, or activities that helped you in your early period of discernment? Are there any questions you asked yourself to determine if you were called to something else instead?

Thanks for any comments and suggestions.


#2

I'm in formation, so not a deacon yet. I've got 2 more years.

I would suggest going on a silent retreat at some point.

Also begin to say the Liturgy of the Hours. Just start with the 1 Volume Christian prayer and do morning and evening prayer. You can get good second hand ones from Ebay and Amazon. Here's a website that will give you pointers, pages you should be on, and also a version of the psalms etc. divineoffice.org/

Also do ministry at your parish - especially lector and EMHC.

Also spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament at Adoration.

And start getting to confession regularly.

Don't panic - it's not as much as it seems. A lot of this just becomes part of the rhythm of your life.:thumbsup:


#3

[quote="triumphguy, post:2, topic:317811"]
I'm in formation, so not a deacon yet. I've got 2 more years.

I would suggest going on a silent retreat at some point.

Also begin to say the Liturgy of the Hours. Just start with the 1 Volume Christian prayer and do morning and evening prayer. You can get good second hand ones from Ebay and Amazon. Here's a website that will give you pointers, pages you should be on, and also a version of the psalms etc. divineoffice.org/

Also do ministry at your parish - especially lector and EMHC.

Also spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament at Adoration.

And start getting to confession regularly.

Don't panic - it's not as much as it seems. A lot of this just becomes part of the rhythm of your life.:thumbsup:

[/quote]

Yes.


#4

Triumphguy,
Thanks for the suggestions. I actually already have copies of Christin Prayer and the Mundelein Psalter. I haven't prayed the liturgy of the hours for a couple years since my kids unraveled the ribbons, but now would be a good time to start doing it again. :)

Right now liturgical ministries are a little tough since we still have 3 that are under 5 years old so I'm generally playing zone defense with my wife during mass (our teenagers aren't much help in that department :(). My wife and I do marriage prep, NFP training, and do some of the teaching for RCIA (mainly around marriage and chastity). I also occasionally help out at a local St Vincent de Paul food bank.

Any other suggestions for non-liturgical ministries that might match the diaconal chrism? Don't get me wrong; I have no issues with liturgical functions, but I sometime wonder where a deacon might be called to serve that I have just not thought about before.

As always thanks for any and all suggestions.


#5

I am in my second of five years of formation in Iowa. We are required to have monthly Spiritual Direction meetings with an approved priest. I would highly recommend this for you as you don’t need to be in formation to have a SD. The SD will help you examine your call and challenge you spirtually. Most recently, my SD director helped me to understand that at this point I have a call to FORMATION and a call to ORDINATION won’t come until that ritual years from now. The formation process is a journey where the candiate is formed into the image of Christ the servant. Hope this helps!


#6

I am in the process of applying to be accepted as an aspirant to the diaconate formation program. I have recently obtained a spiritual director and am putting together the paperwork. It is a bit of a problem for me as I am a convert and there are irregularities in things I did in the past. Even so, it is what I feel called to do–even though I know it will mean a huge change in my life. I am saying a prayer for you and all others who are feeling called. Blessings and break out the breviary and say as much as you can as it is good for you and a blessing for the Church. :slight_smile:


#7

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