Process to becoming a Permanent Deacon

The man who believes he is called to be a Permanent Deacon must submit a written application to the Board of Deacons. In his application he is to state his full names, the name and contact details of his parish Priest, the name and contact details of the chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council and the name and contact details of his wife. The Board of Deacons will contact these persons directly for their written recommendation. In addition to the written application, the Board also requires a certified copy of ID, proof of residence, certified copies of Baptism, Confirmation and Marriage certificates, certified copies of education certificates.

Those who meet the criteria will be called, together with their spouses, for a preliminary interview by the Board of Deacons. The successful applicant, together with his wife, will undergo a propaedeutic period of formation lasting between 6 – 12 months. Thereafter, the applicant will be designated the term ‘aspirant’. He will take up his academic and spiritual formation as instructed by the Board. On the successful completion of the academic formation, the aspirant will submit a written application to the Board of Deacons. However, in this application he must provide strong motivation as to why he aspires to be a Permanent Deacon. Thereafter, the Board will contact the aspirant’s; wife, parish Priest and Parish Pastoral Council chairperson, for their final written recommendations. The aspirant will be called to an intermediate interview with the Board and if successful will be referred for psychometric evaluation.

The aspirant will be notified of the outcome of the psychometric evaluation and if approved will be invited to the final stage of formation. During this final stage of formation, the Bishop, at his discretion, will confer the stable ministry of Lector, to be held for 6 months, followed by conferment of the stable ministry Acolyte, to be held for a further 6 months. After this final stage of formation is complete, the Bishop will either; accept, defer or reject the further progress of the aspirant at his discretion which is final. Should the aspirant be accepted, he and his wife will have a final interview with the Bishop. Should the interview be successful, the Bishop will admit the aspirant to become a candidate for Holy Orders. Thereafter the Bishop, at his discretion, will confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders to the Sacred Order of Permanent Deacon.

Resources

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A Deacon’s Reflection is by Deacon Greg Garnie of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg, South Africa. Permanent Deacons is from the Congregation for Catholic Education & the Congregation for the Clergy.

Both books are available from Pauline’s Catholic Bookshop in Kensington, Johannesburg. A Deacon’s Reflection is also available from Amazon.com in paperback and kindle form.