Diaconate Eligibility Requirements
Eligibility Requirements and Applications
In accordance with the Church's norms outlined in Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons, (Congregation for Catholic Education & Congregation for the Clergy, Vatican City, 1998), and the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States, (Bishops' Committee on the Diaconate, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2005), the Diaconate Formation Program of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is designed around the Human, Spiritual, Intellectual and Pastoral development of each candidate.
A man who feels called to the Order of deacon should discuss this matter with his pastor and over a period of time they should discerned the movement of the Holy Spirit in the candidate's life. The candidate must be well known to the pastor and the members of the parish community. He must already be involved in the life of the parish in its ministries, outreach programs, or education programs. His commitment to the parish and the Church should be evident in his constant participation and support of the parish. He should be recognized by the community as a witness to pastoral charity, a life of prayer, a man faithful to the Church's teachings, and should live a life consistent with the values and commandments of the Gospel. The pastor should meet with a candidate's wife in order to discern the level of her support for her husband's intention to peruse ordination to the diaconate.
In order to be accepted into the Permanent Diaconate Formation Program a candidate is expected to have successfully completed the Lay Pastoral Ministry Program or have received an equivalent level of preparation. As well as successfully completing courses and seminars on pastoral ministry and human development each candidate, as part of the application process, goes through a screening process, undergoes a rigorous interview process, psychological evaluations and is required to provide over seven independent references from a wide variety of sources. The application process for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is coordinated and implemented by the Director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate.
As many candidates for the permanent diaconate are married and have families, efforts are made to include spouses and children in the formation program at all levels. The involvement, commitment and approval of a spouse are essential for a candidate's acceptance into the program and in the success of living out the diaconal vocation.
Qualities Sought in Potential Deacon Candidates
- Emotional maturity
- Personal integrity/ appropriate self- knowledge
- Demonstrate a personal commitment to growing in Christian holiness/ an active prayer life/ participation in the Eucharistic and Sacramental life of the Church
- Generosity for service already being demonstrated
- Good physical and psychological health (both candidate and wife, if married)
- Ability to work in a team/ works well with people
- Clearly demonstrates an ability and willingness to lead
- Good communication skills (both as a speaker and as a listener)
- Ability to speak publicly and proclaim the Gospel effectively
- Ability to articulate and explain the moral and doctrinal teaching of the Church effectively
- Need in the community for his service and leadership
- Acceptance by the Christian community as evidenced by his ministry in the parish
- He must show an acceptance and personal commitment to the teaching of the Church
Prerequisites for Admission to the Program
- A man must be a Catholic in good standing in the Church and fully-initiated in the faith
- He must be at least 32 years of age
- If married, there must be evidence of a stable and growing marriage relationship. His wife must be willing to support her husband actively through formation and in his ministry.
- He will minimally have completed the theological and ministerial requirements for obtaining Certificate in Lay Ministry from the Athenaeum. Athenaeum certificate courses must have been taken for undergraduate credit equivalency.(Education is evaluated on an individual case basis.) A Master of Arts in Theology from the Athenaeum will fulfill the theological pre-requisites and a Master of Arts in Theology from another institution may also fulfill the theological pre-requisites for admission. [The Tribunal Procurator course and Child Protection Workshops are still required.]
- He will have demonstrated his ability to respond to needs for service himself and lead others to do so.
- He is endorsed by his present pastor, parish staff and parish council
- Tribunal Procurator and Child Abuse Decree workshop are pre-requisites
If you are interested in applying for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Permanent Diaconate Program please contact:
Mr. Barry Mersmann
Director of Permanent Diaconate
Office 100 East Eighth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202