August 11, 2006

Diaconate informational sessions to be held

By Sean Gallagher

The archdiocese’s current class of 25 deacon candidates has completed the second year of their formation and has two more years to go before being ordained in June 2008.

But preparations for forming the next class of potential deacons are already under way.

Starting on Sept. 10, Benedictine Father Bede Cisco, archdiocesan deacon formation director, will present five informational sessions about the diaconate and the deacon formation program in locations across the archdiocese. There is no cost to attend.

Those who have a general interest in learning more about these topics are welcome to attend any session.

Father Bede is especially hoping to meet men who might be interested in entering into a discernment process that could lead to them becoming members of the next deacon formation class. Wives of potential deacon formation applicants are also encouraged to attend.

“We’re looking … for men who are already involved in the ministry of charity and have a strong commitment to service,” Father Bede said.

He said such men might be currently involved in the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Habitat for Humanity or other similar service-oriented ministries or organizations.

Each session will be the same so those interested in the diaconate do not need to attend all five.

Men possibly interested in being admitted to the next deacon formation class are required to attend one of the five informational sessions. A formal discernment and inquiry process will take place in the months following the last session.

Father Bede said the meetings will help people understand that “the deacon is an essential part of the Church’s understanding of what ministry is” and “what the deacon formation process does” to prepare men for ordained ministry.

At each meeting, five deacon candidates and their wives from the current deacon formation class will be present to answer questions.

The current group of men preparing for ordination to the diaconate come from nearly all the archdiocese’s 11 deaneries and several ethnic communities. They also have a variety of educational backgrounds and work in a wide range of careers.

Father Bede said he hopes that the next deacon candidate class will also “represent that broad spectrum.”

Potential deacon program applicants must have a minimum of a high school diploma and, according to Father Bede, “a willingness to engage in some serious study.”

They also need to be no less than 30 years of age since the minimum age for ordination to the diaconate is 35.

(Reservations for the informational sessions are requested. To make reservations or to learn more about the sessions, e-mail or call 317-236-1491 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1491. Read more stories about deacon formation) †


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