USML | Admissions

Becoming A Deacon


All applications are requested through and submitted by the sponsoring pastor.

Deacons must be involved in the world. As the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States tells us, “The diaconate is lived in a particularly powerful way in the manner in which a deacon fulfills his obligations to his secular occupation, to his civic and public responsibilities, and among his family and neighbors. This … enables the deacon to bring back to the Church an appreciation of the meaning and value of the Gospel as he discerns it in the lives and questions of the people he has encountered.” (par. 58)

“The deacon is ordained precisely for service in both the sanctuary and the marketplace.” (par. 59)

The Institute for Diaconal Studies (IDS) is looking for men who are already living a lifestyle of service to the Church and their community, men whose lifestyles of service would be further strengthened and sacramentalized by the reception of Holy Orders.


Ministerial Involvement

  • Have a verifiable record of service to the parish community in ministry of the Word, Liturgy, and Charity and Justice.
  • Be passionate about the Church’s mission of charity, and involved in these ministries.

Vocational Support

  • Recommended by your pastor and have the full support of the pastoral staff.
  • Have the full consent of your wife (if married) and family.
  • Also, your wife must possess the Christian moral character to support your vocation, and must be willing to participate in those formation program activities where her presence is required.

Stability of Life

  • Be fully initiated (baptized, confirmed, received Eucharist) into the Catholic Church for at least three years and be living a life that adheres to Catholic teaching.
  • Be of good moral character with an active spiritual and prayer life that incorporates Catholic worship (Eucharist/Mass) regularly and the Sacrament of Penance frequently.
  • If married, should be in a stable, valid and sacramental marriage for at least three years (Catholic Matrimony).
  • If divorced, living a chaste lifestyle and decree granted at least three years prior to application.
  • If widowed, living a chaste lifestyle for at least three years.
  • If single, living a chaste lifestyle and be willing to commit to a lifetime of celibacy at ordination (Chastity refers to correct moral living based on Catholic Christian moral teaching and celibacy refers to not being married).

Age, Residency, Health, Employment

  • Be at least 31 and not older than 62 at the time of application.
  • Reside in the Archdiocese of Chicago (Cook or Lake Counties).
  • Be in good physical and mental health, and, if addicted, actively in recovery.
  • Financially self-sufficient with a history of steady employment.

Education and Background

  • Have at least a high school diploma or GED, with an ability to do the required college-level academic work of the program.
  • Have completed a criminal background check, Code of Conduct form, Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System form (CANTS), attended Protecting God’s Children (Virtus) awareness program as well as Mandated Reporter Training,  undergo routine physical examination (men and women) and psychological inventory (men only), and (if married) participate in a marriage inventory.
  • Complete a Pre-Application & Inquiry Form and provide all required documentation with formal application (applications are made through a sponsoring pastor).

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