The first step in the application process is for the man to meet with his pastor to discuss his desire to explore formation for the permanent diaconate. His pastor should help him discern whether this is a call from God.
After initial discernment, the man and his wife must attend a discernment retreat. Each discernment retreat is a day of prayer and information. The discernment retreats are scheduled during the year preceding the creation of a new class. Pre-registration is required, and is accomplished by contacting the St. Francis School of Theology for Deacons.
Once the man and his wife have attended the discernment retreat, the man must obtain a letter of recommendation from his pastor. The pastor should mail or email his letter directly to the St. Francis School of Theology for Deacons. Verbal recommendations are not accepted.
Upon receipt of the written recommendation from the pastor, the man will be provided an application packet. This packet will include a questionnaire and the format for a detailed autobiography. There will be a similar packet for the wife of the man to complete. There may well be further contact to clarify vague or missing information.
The information submitted is then reviewed by the Directors of the St. Francis School of Theology for Deacons. This review is limited to the Policies, Guidelines and Requisite Criteria for Admission. If the man and his wife appear to be in compliance with The Requirements for Admission, the man and his wife will be scheduled for an interview with the Admissions Committee. This interview lasts about 1 hour and is intended to explore in greater depth the qualities and attributes of the man and his wife, as to whether or not those are in concert with diaconal ministry. A recommendation is provided from the Admission Committee to the Directors of Formation who meet with the Rector of the St. John Vianney Theological Seminary to discuss each applicant before a final decision is reached. Once a decision is reached, the man and his pastor are notified as to that decision.
If you would like to explore the possibility to serve as a Permanent Deacon you must attend one of the Discernment Retreats listed below. The day begins with registration at 6:40am, Mass, breakfast, and informational sessions. Lunch is on your own. The day ends at 2:45pm after a period of silent adoration and Benediction.
To register for one of the retreats, click the registration button below. You will be prompted to select a date and fill in a form with your information.