Wives of Deacon canidates - formation


#1

I recently learned that in a local diocese, the wives of the deacon candidates are expected to complete the same formation as their husbands. I realize that the wife’s permission is required for the husband’s ordination, and I think that a wives should be included in some aspects of their husband’s formation, but the wives are not preparing for ordination, their husbands are. The church does not have a defined role for the deacon’s wife. What if a wife is not intellectually suited to the study of theology? What if she is simply not particularly interested in classes in homiletics? What if she is simply busy with children or grandchildren, or work, but is a faithful Catholic woman who is fully supportive of her husband’s vocation? Is this a universal requirement, or does it vary from diocese to diocese?


#2

I am an aspirant in the Diocese of Beaumont, and wives are not required to attend classes. They can audit the classes if they desire. They also participate as available in some of our meetings, but our retreat earlier this year was limited to the aspirants.

DGB


#3

[quote="babochka, post:1, topic:332006"]
I recently learned that in a local diocese, the wives of the deacon candidates are expected to complete the same formation as their husbands. I realize that the wife's permission is required for the husband's ordination, and I think that a wives should be included in some aspects of their husband's formation, but the wives are not preparing for ordination, their husbands are. The church does not have a defined role for the deacon's wife. What if a wife is not intellectually suited to the study of theology? What if she is simply not particularly interested in classes in homiletics? What if she is simply busy with children or grandchildren, or work, but is a faithful Catholic woman who is fully supportive of her husband's vocation? Is this a universal requirement, or does it vary from diocese to diocese?

[/quote]

Since you've already gotten one counter-example you know this is not a universal requirement.

But I suspect you refer to my archdiocese which has long required wives to complete the same formation as the husbands.


#4

[quote="SMHW, post:3, topic:332006"]
Since you've already gotten one counter-example you know this is not a universal requirement.

But I suspect you refer to my archdiocese which has long required wives to complete the same formation as the husbands.

[/quote]

Probably not. I suspect I'm a little further north, but the diocese that the example came from was actually Reno, but I reside in northern California. I've been told that it is the same in the local diocese. Maybe it is a regional thing. I'm glad to know that it is not universal.


#5

I have lived in three different archdioceses in the East, and I had never heard of this until now. :hmmm:


#6

[quote="babochka, post:4, topic:332006"]
Probably not. I suspect I'm a little further north, but the diocese that the example came from was actually Reno, but I reside in northern California. I've been told that it is the same in the local diocese. Maybe it is a regional thing. I'm glad to know that it is not universal.

[/quote]

It might be a provincial thing. The Provinces of San Francisco and Los Angeles often do things the same way. (I think the diocese of Reno is in the Province of San Francisco.)


#7

Here in the Archdiocese of Detroit, it’s a lot closer to DoGod’sBidding’s diocese. Wifes are encouraged to take the same classes, and the Archdiocese will fund it in the same way it funds the candidates, but there is no requirement to do so.


#8

[quote="Brendan, post:7, topic:332006"]
Here in the Archdiocese of Detroit, it's a lot closer to DoGod'sBidding's diocese. Wifes are encouraged to take the same classes, and the Archdiocese will fund it in the same way it funds the candidates, but there is no requirement to do so.

[/quote]

That makes sense to me.


#9

Here in my Diocese (Tucson) it is a requirement, per se, that aspiring deacons and their wives attend the same course, its called the Common Formation. The deacon’s wives, at the point when the course is over, they persevere, and the men become ordained, then the wives become lay ecclesial ministers. Wives of aspiring deacons do have to give permission in writing to the formation team in order for the aspirant to attend the formation. Wives may opt out of the formation, but must do so in writing as well.


#10

[quote="rivera01, post:9, topic:332006"]
Here in my Diocese (Tucson) it is a requirement, per se, that aspiring deacons and their wives attend the same course, its called the Common Formation. The deacon's wives, at the point when the course is over, they persevere, and the men become ordained, then the wives become** lay ecclesial ministers**. Wives of aspiring deacons do have to give permission in writing to the formation team in order for the aspirant to attend the formation. Wives may opt out of the formation, but must do so in writing as well.

[/quote]

What is a lay ecclesial minister? Is this an official church term, or just a descriptive term used by your diocese? Are there other lay ecclesial ministers (other than deacon's wives) and do they have the same formation?

Do wives have to give written permission again, after the completion of the formation program, for their husbands' ordinations?


#11

No, this is not a universal requirement, and each diocese can make up its own "rules" for wives. My husband is entering his 3rd year of formation, and although I am fortunate enough to be able to attend all of the classes thus far, it is not a requirement. Some of the wives attend once or twice a year, and others attend more frequently. I enjoy attending because I learn a lot in the classes.


#12

I'm entering the second year of formation, and my wife has attended every part of the program with me.

In our diocese the wives are "strongly encouraged" to participate as much as possible in the prorgam.

My wife enjoys it very much and looks forward to each session.

This year we will both do certificates in pastoral care, and in pastoral care of the sick and dying.

She also says the Office with me.:thumbsup:


#13

In the Los Angeles Archdiocese the wives are expected to go through formation with their husbands. They do everything except receiving the sacrament. I was discerning the diaconate and went to the orientation.


#14

When my husband was in formation they encouraged the wives to attend classes. I asked what would I get in the end and they said I could request a certificate that I basically had already as a certified catechists. So I decided to go a different route and go for an MA in theology on my own. My husband got ordained and I got my first theology degree which got mr a job.

BTW a lay ecclesial minister is a term coined by the bishops in Their document on lay ministry.


#15

In those places that require the wives to attend all the same classes, etc., can someone explain why? What is the reasoning and purpose of requiring it and/or disqualifying men who have wives who for any reason can't? I assume it serves multiple important functions. What are they?


#16

In our formation we have lots of group process, and the input of the wives is very important in that.

There are only 2 couples in our class, but my wife is a teacher and the other is a hospital chaplain with a masters in pastoral care so we get lots of good input from them.

For me, my wife's input is a bonus.


#17

Thanks triumphguy :), okay so that is a reason, that it improves the quality of the formation (the activities in the classes) that the aspirant receives.

Any other thoughts from people?


#18

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