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On Aug. 23, 18 men from across central and southern Indiana began their formation as the second class of archdiocesan deacon aspirants.
Over the next four years, they will participate in the four dimensions of deacon formation: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral.
During that time, they will meet as a group for classes or on retreat one weekend a month for 11 months each year. Additionally, they will participate in various ministries of charity in parishes to which they will be assigned as well as other places outside of parishes (e.g., jails, hospitals, etc.).
Leading the men in their formation will be Benedictine Father Bede Cisco, archdiocesan director of deacons and deacon formation; Deacon Kerry Blandford, associate director of deacon formation; and Father Lawrence Voelker, director of spiritual formation for the deacon formation program.
The new class of deacon aspirants range in age from 45 to 68. They have been married as few as nine years and as many as 49 years.
Most continue to work at careers in the secular world, although two men are retired. Among the fields in which these men work are business management, health care, education and engineering.
Nine of the aspirants are members of parishes that currently have deacons assigned to them, while nine come from parishes that do not.
Ten of the 11 archdiocesan deaneries are represented in the new class of deacon aspirants. Only the Tell City Deanery does not have an aspirant. †