The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will hold an information night for men between the ages of 29 and 55 who believe they may be called to ordained ministry as permanent deacons on Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
The application process takes approximately one year, and for those admitted, formation involves six years of study. Classes are held one to two nights per week at the seminary and follow a college semester calendar.
Workshops are also held on approximately eight Saturdays in the year, and a weekend retreat is required each summer. If married, a candidate’s wife is expected to attend as many classes and functions with her husband as possible.
A deacon is an ordained member of the clergy in the Catholic Church, who is called to be a minister of the word, a minister at the altar and a minister of charity. While all baptized persons are called to share in the mission of Jesus Christ according to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, a permanent deacon, who may be married, is a member of the clergy and shares in the hierarchy of the sacrament of holy orders.
A deacon’s ministry entails proclaiming, preaching and teaching God’s Word, assisting the bishop and priest at the liturgy, assisting at funerals, ministering to the sick and dying, leading the community in prayer and in sacramental liturgies, baptizing, witnessing marriages and exercising administrative leadership in the church.
A permanent deacon is a witness to his office in a public and prominent way. When serving at the altar, he is vested in an alb, stole and dalmatic. When engaging in ministry in the community, he dresses in clerical attire, but he wears a gray clerical shirt with a Roman collar, instead of the black shirt worn by priests and bishops.
Through the sacrament of holy orders, the deacon is configured to Christ the Servant, who acts through the ministry of the deacon.
Registration for the information night on April 16 is required. To register or for more information, email Laura Nimmons at firstname.lastname@example.org. If married, the men attending the information night must do so with their wives.
The meeting will be held at the seminary’s Vianney Auditorium, 100 East Wynnewood Road in Wynnewood.