The popular wisdom adage says: «If you don’t live to serve, you don’t serve to live.» And this is precisely what the term Deacon means in biblical Greek, «servant», and designates a category of men with ecclesiastical responsibilities. Do you want to know the requirements to be a deacon?
They formed and are part of the hierarchy of the Church. Subordinate to the bishops, they assisted them in their tasks and continue to do so today.
If you have a religious vocation and service, you must know the Requirements to be a Deacon: Features, Courses and more, just keep reading.
Requirements to be a Deacon
The requirements to be a deacon of the Church are found in the Bible, I invite you to look in the second letter of Saint Paul to his disciple Timothy, in chapter three, verses eight to ten and verses twelve and thirteen.
The Didaché, a work written between 50 and 70 after Christ, reads: “… Deacons must be worthy of the Lord, peaceful, without greed, lovers of the truth and upright”.
Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle John: «… Deacons must be blameless as ministers of God, not slanderers, not double-minded, they must be tolerant, pious and hardworking.»
The Church today has expressed it in these terms: Only those with an integrity faith, motivated by noble and upright intentions, with a clear awareness of the step they are taking, with good reputations, of good manners, virtuous, in addition to physical characteristics, should be ordained. and psychological ones convenient to the ministry.
Among the human qualities that you must show, if you have religious inclinations, are maturity, the capacity for dialogue and communication, a sense of responsibility, balance, and prudence.
Among the evangelical virtues we have: prayer, mercy, sense of the Church, humble and strong love for the Church and her mission, spirit of poverty, obedience, fraternal communion, apostolic zeal, capacity for service, charity towards the brothers.
Requirements to be a Deacon: What is the process like?
To complete the requirements to be a Deacon you must go through a liturgical rite in which you must publicly declare your desire to serve God and the Church through this ministry.
The Church responds by choosing the candidate in question and informs him that he must prepare to receive the sacred order and thus be received among the aspirants.
This rite should be properly appreciated and performed, preferably, on a feast day. The interested party must prepare with a spiritual retreat.
The liturgical rite must be followed by an assignment (inscription) between the aspirants, in the handwriting of the interested party and signed by him, where he expresses his desire to dedicate himself perpetually to the service of God and the Church, and received in writing by the Bishop. o Major Superior to whom it is addressed.
With this request, the interested party must present the certificates of baptism, confirmation, comply with everything related to canon 1035 and have satisfactorily completed the studies prescribed in canon 1032.
If you are married, you must present the marriage certificate and also a written consent from your wife.
With all this, the competent Bishop or Major Superior will proceed to carry out a rigorous examination of the applicant. It will take into account, above all, the report that will be presented by the director for the training of the applicant.
After this investigation you must issue a report on your physical and mental health. All this procedure does not give the right to any ordination.
The steps taken so far and accepted by the Church are only a recognition of merit in the candidate for the diaconate, which he must then confirm in the years of formation to come.
Requirements to be a Deacon: Duties
The functions of the diaconate are to be an interpreter of the needs and desires of the Christian communities, this is a general vision, but we are going to see them more clearly.
This ministry was summarized by the Second Vatican Council with the triad: ministry of the liturgy, ministry of the word, and ministry of charity.
The Deacon exercises the magisterium because he preaches and illustrates the Divine Word, he is sanctifying in that he can apply the Sacrament of Baptism, the Eucharist and the sacramentals, he participates in the celebration of Holy Mass as a “minister of blood”, he preserves and distribute the Eucharist
This is «guide, because it supports the community and the various sectors of the Church.» Thus he assists and assists bishops and priests in their functions.
The work of the Deacons should encourage the building of Christian unity without any prejudice, working for the community to develop human characteristics that bring men closer to each other, with self-control, treating others as themselves and with the capacity for dialogue.
The Deacon is co-responsible in the direction of the Christian community where he exercises his ministry. He performs his own task in the liturgy, which is to serve the bishop and the priest in the performance of the Eucharist.
From this function it follows that the Deacon exercises the presidency in celebrations of the Word, of sacraments such as Baptism and Marriage, serves Holy Communion, directs the Liturgy of the Hours, common prayers, funerals, responses and also serves in the sacramentals .
In short, the field of action of the Deacon in the Church is in liturgical life, in pastoral life, in social works and charitable works in the community.
How to enter the Deacon School?
- According to the DIOCESE OF FORT WORTH. Office Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons Diaconal Formation, the steps you must take to enter the School are the following:
If you are interested in the diaconate:
You must fill online the interest sheet.
- Go to a meeting where you will be informed about the Diaconate Formation. Session # 1 (DEFIS).
a) For interested parties only (age 25+).
b) Take home discernment questions.
- Attend a meeting where you will be told what to do for Diaconate Formation Session # 2.
a) The applicant and his spouse must attend this session.
b) Examine any obstacle to Ordination.
- The application for admission to the Deacon School is sent to the applicant.
- The applicant:
a) Submit the duly completed application form.
b) Fill out the marriage evaluation online (Prepare and Enrich).
c) Carry out the Culture Index Survey (CI) personality inventory.
- If chosen to continue in the selection process, the candidate must:
a) Both spouses must take a psychological evaluation.
b) You must participate in the Deacon Insight Profile (DIP).
- If still chosen to continue in the process, the applicant:
a) Both spouses will formally participate in an interview with the Admissions Coordinator and Wife Training Coordinator.
b) Both spouses will be formally interviewed by the Director of Training.
- At the end of the selection, the Admissions and Scrutinies Committee will vote and make the due indications.
- The Committee will make suggestions to the Director of Training.
- The Director of Formation will deliver a report to the Bishop to decide on each applicant.
- Each applicant receives communication of having been accepted after examination by the Bishop.
Courses you must pass
Apart from the Requirements to be a deacon, this information will be of great value to you. Each course lasts thirty hours per quarter (ten weeks), generally two courses are taken per quarter, but that depends on the aptitude of each participant.
With the chosen course, the student must participate in spiritual retreats. According to the Program for the Formation of Permanent Deacons of the Archdiocese of Chicago, United States, the courses are as follows:
It is an introduction to Bible study and also to the different methods of interpretation. This course lasts thirty hours.
You will know basic subjects in theological study such as religious experience, revelation and faith among others. Duration: thirty hours.
In this course you will see the worldwide presence of the Church and its great influence throughout all time. Course duration: thirty hours.
You will study the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Thirty hours long.
Christian Spirituality and Accompaniment
Vision of Christian practices and values. Thirty hour course.
This course studies the Tradition of the Church and the experience of the community through basic theology of liturgical themes. Duration of this course: thirty hours.
Introduction to Christian Ethics and Social Justice
It touches on subjects such as Christian conscience, liberty, the social teaching of the Church and others. Thirty hour course.
Ecclesiology and Theology of the Sacraments
Study the Church of Vatican II, Baptism, Marriage and Holy Orders, among others. This course lasts thirty hours.
Bible II, Gospel and Letters
You will examine here the world of the New Testament, the Pauline letters, the other epistles, among other topics. Duration Time: thirty hours.
Practicum: Homiletics, Liturgy and Celebrations
Training in the preparation of homilies, acquisition of tools for communication, funeral services, communion, baptisms and others. This course lasts fifty hours.
Missiology and Catechetical Bases
Overview of the Church’s work in the world and mission practice in the parish context. Thirty hours long.
Introduction to Canon Law / Marriage
In this course you will obtain a general notion of the main subjects of Canon Law, in addition you will be trained to do marriage interviews, pastoral counseling among other competences. Duration: thirty hours.
Workshops and Ceremonies: Completion of studies
In this phase you will dedicate yourself to carry out theological reflections once a month.
In addition to all these subjects, the aspirant to the diaconate will see complementary subjects, in the opinion of his superiors, such as, for example, the study of other religions, matters that concern the philosophical field, and also study economic and political problems.
What is being a Deacon?
A Deacon is a man of mature age, married or not, ordained (Permanent Deacon) or not (lay person), who will exercise this ministry.
Those who are married are promoted who, after many years of married life, have shown that they know how to run their own home, and whose wife and children have a true Christian life and enjoy a good reputation.
They can also be suitable young people, over 25 years of age, who must uphold the law of celibacy according to tradition.
The Church accepts men who have been widowed, who are unable to contract a new marriage due to the discipline of the Church, who must give evidence of human and spiritual solidity in their new state of life.
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