Requirements for Admission
A man does not decide on his own to become a deacon. God calls men to service and, after prayer and careful consideration, he and the Church discern God's will together. The call to diaconal service is identified and affirmed over a period of years. The Church seeks mature Catholic men who have demonstrated faith, service, and leadership in their local Church communities. They must share the Church’s view of its mission in the world today and seek to grow in knowledge, wisdom and holiness.
The following are specific requirements for admission to candidacy in the Diocese of Rockville Centre:
- Be a baptized man who is confirmed.
- Be a practicing Roman Catholic for a minimum of six years.
- Be a U.S. citizen or a legal, permanent resident at the time of admission.
- Have a working knowledge of English.
- Be between 35-60 years of age at the time of admission to the program.
- Enjoy good physical and mental health with no condition which would impede diaconal ministry.
- Have successfully completed high school and be able to handle college level course work.
- Possess financial security with a history of steady employment in a position that does not require frequent travel or reassignment.
- Be an active, registered parishioner within the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
- Be VIRTUS certified.
- If married, be married at least six years and live in a stable and valid Roman Catholic marriage, enjoying the full support of his spouse.
- In the case of a deacon's wife predeceasing him, he promises to remain celibate for the sake of the service of the Church.
- If single, enjoy a stable, settled life with a history of healthy relationships, and understand the implications of the charism of celibacy.
- Enjoy with hisfamily a good reputation within the community.
- Be able to give the time required for study and service without detriment to his family.
- Be willing and able to make a life-long commitment to serve the Church as determined by the bishop of the diocese.
- Be willing to promise obedience to the Bishop of Rockville Centre and be willing to accept any pastoral assignment that may be given to him.
- Be presently active in the Church and be recognized and accepted as a leader within the community.
- Be highly recommended by those who have worked with him in ministry and can attest to his potential to be an ordained minister in the Church.
An individual wishing to enter diaconal formation contacts the Office of Deacons and is interviewed by the Director of Formation. The purpose of this interview is to determine if the individual fulfills the necessary requirements for admission into the program. The applicant will be advised if he needs further initial formation prior to entrance into the program. When all requirements are present, the individual may make formal application to the Diaconate Formation Program.
1) The applicant completes a formal application including:
- Admission form
- Autobiography (Three parts: personal, spiritual, vocational) and photographs
- School Transcripts
- Required medical documents
- Recent Baptismal Certificate which indicates notation of Confirmation and Marriage as appropriate
- Criminal background check consent form
- List of References
2) If married, the candidate’s wife also completes a statement.
3) Recommendations are sought from various persons who know the candidate to be returned to the Diaconate Office:
- His Pastor
- References provided by candidates and any others deemed helpful by the Diaconate Office. In addition to written recommendations, the Diaconate Office may contact references by phone.
4) The Director of Deacon Formation reviews:
- The applicant’s educational background
- The applicant’s ability to undertake studies
5) Psychologists and social workers employed by the Office of Deacons conduct a psychological exam.
6) Admission Board has meetings with the applicant qnd his wife:
- The applicant will meet with a priest from the Admission Board
- The applicant and his wife will meet with a deacon and his wife from the Admission Board.
7) The Director of Formation and the Admission Board may recommend to the Bishop:
- That the applicant is ready for aspirancy
- That the applicant must remedy certain concerns and/or deficiencies and reapply
- That the applicant should not be accepted
8) The Bishop makes the final decision as to acceptance to the Formation Program.
9) Notification will be made to the applicant immediately following the Bishop's decision.