Are you called to be a deacon? The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will sponsor an information night Thursday, April 20 at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary’s Vianney Hall for men between the ages of 29 and 55 who believe they may be called to ordained ministry as a permanent deacon.
The application process takes approximately one year, and for those admitted, formation at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary involves six years of study. Classes are held one to two nights per week and follow a college semester calendar. In addition, there are workshops on approximately eight Saturdays spread throughout the academic year. A weekend retreat is required each summer.
If married, the 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 receives 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 deacon is a witness to his office in a permanent, public and prominent way. When serving at the altar, a deacon 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.
Those men attending the information night who are married must attend with their wives.
To register or for more information, email Laura Nimmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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When is this years’s anticipated meeting? I know this is an old post but this is something I have been contemplating for quite some time. Thanks.
I never understood why everyone had to go all the way to the Seminary in Wynnewood for meetings and classes. There could be four centers set up throughout the diocese, e.g. in Northeast Philadelphia, Holy Family College. The Seminary is a very inconvenient location for most of the men of the diocese who might be interested in the Deaconate. This schedule and location are made up by clergy who have no idea of the workday of your average layman. I know a formal public school principal who has an MA in Theology from Villanova who could never make it from Warminster to the Seminary in a reasonable time.
Thomas, thank you for your comment. You raise a valid point. Saint Charles Borromeo is the hub of not only Catholic education for those studying to be priests and deacons, but it is also a community where these men undergo formation. The six years of seminary life for those aspiring to the Permanent Diaconate should not be viewed in the same way as one would view a strict academic pursuit. The men pray together as a community each week. Before weekend workshops, they attend Mass as a community. They share meals and fellowship as well. All of this would be lost is we tried to split up classes to remote locations. Also, since our candidates for the diaconate are trained by the same Seminary faculty that trains priests and laypersons seeking a higher theological degree, we must keep everything in one location. Also, from a practical point of view, the Seminary is actually the most central location to all points of the Archdiocese. We have candidates who travel from Yardley, Buck County; Oxford, Chester County, Northeast Philly, Western Montgomery County, and everywhere in between. During the week, we begin class at 7 PM, and the men and the wives who accompany them are able to make it. Yes, it requires a degree of sacrifice, but that is what God is asking of these men…a lifetime of sacrifice for the benefit of building up His Kingdom. God bless..