USML | Yearly Formation

Becoming A Deacon

Yearly Formation

Journey to ordination is minimally four years

Aspirancy is one-year of formal vocation discernment prior to acceptance into candidacy (three years).  In essence, participants are ‘aspiring’ to become a candidate and the journey to ordination is minimally four years. Though the foundation is formational and not necessarily academic in the first year, there are academic introductions during the Aspirancy Path.

  • Introduction to Theological Studies
  • Theology study skills—reading and writing application to theology
  • Catechism (20-hour academic course with an exam/assessment)
  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • Ecumenism
  • Presiding at Rites & Rituals I (intro to leading public prayer)
  • Homiletics I (intro to public speaking/communication)
  • Theological Reflection I
  • Overview to Christology, Ecclesiology, Liturgy, Scripture, Church History, and Moral Theology

All aspirants and candidates meet regularly in a Theological Reflection Group and attend an annual retreat.  At the conclusion of aspirancy, participants meet with the Admission & Scrutinies Board for potential recommendation for entry into candidacy.

Here is a glimpse of some of the required academic and formation activities each year during candidacy.  Also, year 1 and 2 candidates and their wives participate in an annual Theology of the Body / Celibacy Retreat.

Candidacy Year 1

Academics

Old Testament
New Testament
Special Moral II

Christology
Sacraments of Initiation
Proclamation Skills and Techniques (Homiletics II)
Diversity Competencies

Formation

Diaconal Ministry in a Multi-Cultural Church
Theological Reflection Groups
Pastoral Issues

Practica

Presiding at Rites and Rituals I
Worship I (Ritual & Music)

Comprehensive

Service to the Word Field Education

Rites

Rite of Candidacy
Institution of Reader

 

Candidacy Year 2

Academics

Eucharist as Sacrament and Sacrifice
Ecclesiology
Special Moral III
Homiletics III (exegesis)
Canon Law

Formation

Theological Reflection II
Theological Reflection Groups
Pastoral Issues

Practica

Presiding at Rites and Rituals Intensive
             Presiding at Baptisms
             Witnessing and Blessing Marriages
             Assisting at the Funeral Mass

             Presiding at Wake Services, Interments
             Assisting at Mass (Sunday/weekdays)
             Adoration & Benediction

             Presiding at Communion Services
             Pastoral Care of the Sick
             Deacon’s role in the Triduum

Comprehensive

Service to Liturgy Field Internship

Rites

Institution of Acolyte

 

Candidacy Year 3

Academics

Special Moral IV
Homiletics IV
Integrating Seminar
Church History
Sacraments of Healing and Vocation

Formation

Preparing engaged couples for Marriage
Theological Reflection Groups
Vicar’s Meetings
       (Faculties, Rights, Privileges, Duties and Responsibilities of Deacons)
Pastoral Issues

Practica

Presiding at Rites and Rituals III
             Presiding at Baptisms
             Witnessing and Blessing Marriages
             Assisting at the Funeral Mass
             Presiding at Wake Services, Interments

             Presiding at Benediction/Devotions
             Presiding at Liturgy of the Hours
             Assisting at Mass (Sunday/weekdays)
             Leadership and the Liturgy of the Hours

Worship II (Chants & Responses)

Comprehensive

Comprehensive examination

 

Admission & Scrutinies Board

Year 3 candidates meet with the Admission & Scrutinies Board at the end of the winter quarter for potential admission to the ‘ordination path’ (final months) leading to a five-day ordination retreat and potential ordination.

Rites 

Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate


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