St. Francis School of Theology for Deacons
(a division of St. John Vianney Seminary)
St Francis School of Theology for Deacons, (SFSTD), is a division of St John Vianney Seminary. The deacon school provides for the Archdiocese of Denver a specific place for the training and formation of deacons while utilizing the same professors as the seminary. The men who are ordained to Holy Orders provide service of Liturgy, Word, and Sacrament to the Church of Northern Colorado.
In the early days of the Apostles, the Catholic Church held in great veneration the sacred order of the diaconate. St. Paul himself bears witness while communicating his greeting to the deacons together with the bishops and instructs Timothy as to which virtues and qualities are to be sought in the deacon in order that they may be regarded as worthy of diaconal ministry.
“Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.” (CCC 1536)
Pope Paul VI, shortly after the Second Vatican Council, formally implemented the renewal of the diaconate as a permanent part of the hierarchy of the Church. The Archdiocese of Denver celebrated the 40th anniversary of the presence of deacons in the Church of Northern Colorado in 2014.
Admission to study is limited to men under the age of 60. Four plus years of formation begins with a discernment retreat, followed by a letter of recommendation from the man’s pastor, submission of the School’s Application, along with a formal acceptance letter to join the ‘Spirituality Year’ of the SFSTD. Ordination is followed with a formal appointment by the Archbishop to diaconal ministry. There are three years of post-ordination formation for the newly ordained.