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A great piece in Chicago Catholic this week marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the diaconate and describes the formation process in some detail — and one aspect of critical importance, the sacrament of marriage:
Men spend the aspirancy year doing more discernment, Deacon Bob Puhala said, making sure they truly do have a vocation to be an ordained deacon.
Time - Puhala - Men - Pastors - Formation
During that time, Puhala said, the men and their pastors are asked to not announce that they are in diaconate formation to their parishes to avoid raising expectations.
“We don’t expect guys to know whether God is really calling them to the diaconate until after that year,” Puhala said.
Board - Men - Aspirancy - Discerns - Candidate
A board meets with the men after they finish their aspirancy and discerns with them whether they should move on to the three-year deacon candidate program.
That program includes the four dimensions of diaconate ministry.
Dimension - Man - Director - Priest - Retreats
To form them in the spiritual dimension, each man meets with a spiritual director who is a priest, and attends retreats and reflection days. Two classes a semester — often the same classes as the seminarians take — form the intellectual dimension. As part of the pastoral dimension, the men learn how to be good listeners, how to give a homily and how to do liturgy. The human dimension includes service to the marginalized, as well understanding their own gifts and talents.
“The question is what a person can bring to the...
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