Now is the time to contact diocese to learn more

The Office of the Permanent Diaconate would like to announce the start of a new Permanent Deacon Formation class beginning in the Fall of 2018.

Deacon Richard Mitchell, assistant director for the Office of the Permanent Diaconate, is now taking contact information and fielding questions from men who may be interested in discerning this ministry.

If interested, contact Deacon Mitchell at (318) 445-6424, ext. 206 or email: dcnrmitchell@diocesealex.org. The deadline to apply is Dec. 15, 2017.

The qualifications for the permanent diaconate include: must be at least 35 years old at the time of ordination, must have wife’s consent (90% are married) and can be married, but can’t marry or re-marry after ordination.

The four dimensions of formation -- Human, Spiritual, Intellectual, and Pastoral -- are learned throughout the five-year formation process that consists of Aspirancy, Candidacy, and Post-Ordination.

In the Aspirancy and Candidacy stages, the men and their wives are required to attend classes.  Once a month, an instructor from St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana comes to Alexandria to teach the aspirants philosophy and the theory of ministry.  A psychological exam will also be done at this time.

The next four years include the formal study of theology for the Candidates.  Church history, the Sacraments, Preaching, Moral Theology, and Scripture are some of the courses the men and their wives will study in classes held from September to June.

After the Candidate passes the theology curriculum and the psychological exam, the Bishop makes a final determination of his readiness for ordination.

Just as priests and bishops are ordained, a deacon is the third order in the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

After ordination, the deacon becomes incardinated into the Diocese of Alexandria.  The Bishop assigns the deacon to a parish or charitable ministry.