CONCERNING ORDINATION TO THE VOCATIONAL DIACONATE
All canonical and procedural steps apply in both cases, though specific time frames may be different.
1. The early process of personal and congregation discernment, prior to formal
application for postulancy, is intended to be as rigorous as that for persons
contemplating seminary and ordination to the priesthood. Aspirants are expected first to be thoroughly familiar with and to understand this ordained ministry, as described in the diocesan paper titled “The Vocational Diaconate” published in December, 1993.
Aspirants must embody, in their lives and in their demonstrated ministries, qualities and accomplishments congruent with the diaconal model of permanent servant hood. Persuasive cases must be made that ordination to the vocational diaconate will make positive, substantive and critical differences in living out this servant ministry.
2. Ordination to the vocational diaconate can occur no sooner than the expiration of one year of postulancy and of one year of candidacy.
3. Formal training will be conducted on the diocesan level, equivalent in time and curriculum to nine academic quarters (roughly two years). No one may begin this training until first accorded postulancy by the Bishop.
4. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is highly recommended for ordination to the Vocational Diaconate. This may be done during the first year of study or the second. Alternative programs may be considered but must be approved by the Bishop’s office.
5. Selection of postulants for training is considered every other year, depending on the number of applicants. The actual course work currently requires two years.