USML | News

Institute for Diaconal Studies

Institute for Diaconal Studies | News

  • Rite of Candidacy 2015 | 10/12/2015

    On Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 1:30pm Auxiliary Bishop John R. Manz of the Archdiocese of Chicago called fifteen men to the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders (Order of Deacon) at the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, University of St. Mary of the Lake.  These fifteen men were formally enrolled as deacon candidates for the Institute for Diaconal Studies.

    Candidacy is the first official recognition by the Church of the positive signs of his vocation to the diaconate, which must be confirmed in the next three years of formation—a period that includes academic courses, spiritual formation and direction, pastoral ministry experiences, human/personal development, field education, internships, and much more.

    To get to this point in his formation, the men have journeyed through a one-year period of discernment called the Aspirancy Path that included prayer and spiritual formation sessions, an intensive and comprehensive course on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, days of reflection on the deacon’s share in the bishop’s ministries, field ministry experiences in ministering to a culturally diverse Church, a field education experience in Service to Charity, monthly spiritual direction, and a retreat during which he prayed and reflected, with his family, over his possible call to the ordained ministry of deacon.

  • Collaboration Day: LEMs and Ordination Candidates | 3/7/2015

    On Saturday, March 7, 2015, third year candidates and their wives attended a formation day on collaboration with lay ecclesial minstry candidates and seminarians at the University of St. Mary of the Lake.  Dcn. Bob Puhala, Linda Couri, and Fr. Thomas Baima presented on each respective ministry, noting points of similarity and difference.  A representative from each formation program told their vocation story.  Finally, each table tackled a parish ministry case study.

  • Institution of Acolyte | 11/23/2015


    On Sunday, November 8, 2015 Most Rev. George J. Rassas presided at the insitution of six deacon candidates into the Ministry of Acolyte.  

    As instituted acolytes, their responsibilities will include:

    • Assisting priests and deacons in carrying out their ministry at the Eucharist;
    • As special ministers, giving Holy Communion to the faithful at the liturgy, and to the sick;
    • Striving to live more fully by the Lord’s sacrifice and to be molded more perfectly in its likeness;
    • Seeking to understand the deep spiritual meaning of what they do so to offer themselves daily to God as spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Him through Jesus Christ.

    This year the candidates will continue to be involved in intensive, multidimensional study, prayer, and preparation for Holy Orders.  Please keep our candidates and their families in your prayers as they answer God's call in their lives.

  • Women of Witness Reflect on "My Sisters, the Saints" | 10/18/2014


    On Saturday, October 18 the wives of the candidates for the diaconate gathered for a day of fellowship, reflection, and spiritual formation.  The group discussed the first two chapters of My Sisters, the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir by Colleen Carroll Campbell.  Key themes addressed included the spiritual problems of acedia and living a "double life," the steps towards an integrated life of holiness, and the role of the saints.  In Colleen's words, "the pilgrim who seeks God is never alone" on the spiritual journey.  The friendship and the guidance of the saints, and specifically women saints in the context of this discussion, are available to us in marvelous, unexpected ways.

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