Home

Diaconate Contact:

Deacon Dave Profitt
Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

100 East Eighth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
(513) 421-3131 ext. 2641
Fax: (513) 421-6225

FAQ's

  




 What is a Deacon?
Deacons are best described by who they are rather than by what they do. Men who are ordained to the diaconate promise to live out the charism of service to God’s people through the Word, Sacrament and Charity for the rest of their lives. The role of the deacon is to be a helper of the bishops and priests and to proclaim by his life the Church’s call to serve the needs of others. The deacon is the animator and promoter of what the community of faith must be: a community of service.

Return to Top

What qualities does the church look for in a man who is a potential deacon candidate?

  • Emotional maturity
  • Personal integrity/appropriate self-knowledge
  • Christian holiness/an active prayer life
  • Generosity for service already being demonstrated
  • Good physical & psychological health (both candidate and wife, if married)
  • Ability to work in a team/work well with people
  • Good communication skills (both as a speaker and as a listener)
  • Ability to speak publicly and proclaim the Gospel effectively
  • Need in the community for his service and leadership
  • Acceptance by the Christian community as evidenced by his ministry in the parish

 

Return to Top

Who can apply for admittance to the Deacon Formation Program?

  • A man must be a Catholic in good standing in the Church and fully initiated in the faith.
  • He must be at least 32 years of age.
  • If married, there must be evidence of a stable and growing marriage relationship. His wife must be willing to support her husband actively through formation and in his ministry.
  • He will minimally have completed the theological and ministerial requirements for obtaining a certificate in lay ministry. (Education is evaluated on an individual case basis.)
  • He will have demonstrated his ability to respond to needs for service himself and to empower others to do so.
  • He is endorsed by the present pastor, parish staff and parish council.

Return to Top

If a man finishes the LPMP Program at the Athenaeum of Ohio can he be relatively sure that he will be accepted into the Deacon Formation Program?
The Lay Pastoral Ministry Program and the Deacon Formation Program are two entirely separate and unrelated programs. The LPMP is not a prerequisite for, nor a step in, the Deacon Formation Program. One of the application requirements for deacon formation is a certain level of theological and ministerial education. In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati this education is most easily obtained through the LPMP program, but there are other schools which provide the required education as well. Therefore, men in the Lay Pastoral Ministry Program are not taking classes in preparation for entry into the deacon program but to prepare themselves to minister whether they are called to the diaconate or not.

Return to Top

How often are new formation classes begun?
The formation classes are on a three-year cycle corresponding to the length of the program and the need to give adequate attention to the men in formation and their families. A class started in September of 2010. Another class will begin in 2013, 2016 and so forth. Applications for the program are accepted from November through March preceding the beginning of a class in September. (Keep in mind that applicants will have obtained the minimum theological and ministerial education requirements prior to starting deacon formation.)

Return to Top

What are components of the selection process?
Selection includes the receipt of all forms, certificates, transcripts, etc. as required. Each man also takes a battery of psychological inventories and participates in an interview with a counseling professional. A home visit and extended interview with the applicant (and wife) is conducted by the deacon office staff. All this information is then evaluated by a team (both clergy and lay) and letters indicating whether a person has been accepted or not are then mailed.

Return to Top

If a man’s pastor and parish believe he is called to the diaconate, can he be turned down when he applies for admission into the Deacon Formation Program?
A deacon is called by the Archbishop, not the local parish community. Though a man is normally assigned to his home parish by the Archbishop, at the Archbishop’s discretion he may be asked to serve somewhere else in the archdiocese where there is need for his ministry. Therefore, the question in the selection process is whether or not the archdiocese in the person of the Archbishop is calling a man to the permanent diaconate.

The Archbishop entrusts the Diaconate Office with the responsibility of discerning whether a man has the appropriate motives, abilities, attitude and personality traits which are called for by Canon Law and the Guidelines of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops for permanent deacons.

Return to Top

Once a man is accepted into the Deacon Formation Program can he be relatively sure that he will be ordained a deacon?
No. Like the Seminary Formation Program, the Deacon Formation Program constitutes one more period of discernment. The candidate may find, as he learns more about himself and the diaconate, that ordained ministry is not his calling. Periodic evaluation of each man by his pastor and teachers in addition to regular self-evaluation allow the formation staff to assist each individual in his vocation journey. These may result in either the candidate or the formation staff suggesting that the formation relationship be terminated.

Return to Top

How long is the formation program for deacons?
Once a man is accepted into the Deacon Formation Program there are three additional years of preparation for ordination. The formation for diaconate is not only academic but also spiritual and ministerial. A man in deacon formation meets monthly with a spiritual director. He and his wife also develop a mentoring relationship with an ordained deacon and his wife, meeting together at least two hours a month.

Candidates are installed as reader and acolyte in due time as well as being accepted as candidates for the order of deacon by the Archbishop. For each installation the students carry out ministerial projects in their parish correlating to the Word, Liturgy and Charity/Justice.

Return to Top

What role does a deacon student’s pastor and parish staff have after he has been accepted into the Deacon Formation Program?
The most important thing a man in formation can do is to keep in conversation with his pastor and/or parish staff. The man needs to elicit honest feedback on his ministry. The student needs to be challenged to grow, to become accustomed to doing both self-evaluation and engaging in evaluation in the context of a ministry team or parish staff. Because he is geographically close to his parish, this is the best arena for the man in formation to try out different ministries, to continue to empower other parishioners to respond to needs for service in the community, and to sharpen his team ministry skills.

Return to Top

Do all deacons have the faculty to preach after they are ordained?

No. In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati a Deacon is not granted faculties to preach by reason of ordination. He may apply for faculties if he successfully completes the required post-ordination courses, a preaching internship and has the approval of his pastor. Some deacons are called on to give a short reflection when they are the principal presiders at Baptisms, Marriages or Funerals.

Return to Top

If you have a continuing interest in the Diaconate or any other questions regarding Deacon selection, formation, or ministry, please do not hesitate to write or call:

Diaconate Office
Archdiocese of Cincinnati
100 East Eighth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

(513) 421-3131
Email:
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Return to Top