The deacon is ordained to share in the ministry of the diocesan Bishop, in his mission of
Word, Worship and Service. He is configured to Christ, who made himself “deacon,” or
servant of all. As such, the specific character or mark of his ordained ministry is service,
and in a particular way, the service of charity. He represents Christ the Servant, in service
to God’s people, in communion with the Bishop and his priests, and he represents for all to
see, the specific diaconal dimensions of all Church ministry.
a. Applicants must be 35 yeaers of age by the time of ordination. He must also be
sponsored by a parish within the Diocese. If he is a convert to the Catholic faith, he must
be at least 3 years professed in the faith at the time of application and be actively involved
in the parish.
b. If married, the applicant must demonstrate evidence of a stable marriage.
c. The applicant shall be physically and mentally healthy.
d. Permanent deacons must be economically stable and self-sufficient. Therefore, each
applicant must have a source of income for supporting self and family. The applicant must
also have an active health insurance policy/coverage for himself and for his family. He also
must be enrolled either in Social Security or in an equivalent program.
e. The applicant must have pastoral involvement in the parish community. Evidence of such
involvement should be found in the recommendations submitted and the applicant’s
questionnaire. Such involvement must demonstrate not only leadership skills but also
an ability to dialogue with others.
f. While a B.A. or equivalent degree is desirable, graduation from highschool or its
equivalent is required. The applicant must have an intellectual curiosity and ability to grasp
abstract concepts; in addition, he must have mastered basic skills of reading comprehension
g. Applicants are expected to complete the necessary studies during the formaiton period.
Complete commitment to the assigned periods of formation throughout the program will be
h. Each applicant should have an active spiritual and prayer life prior to entering into the
i. The wife of the candidate must demonstrate her support and affirmation of her spouse’s
decision to study for the diaconate through her active participation and attendance in the
human grown component of the program and the annual retreat. She must give explicit
consent to each step along the formation path.
The Application Process:
Interview (Candidate and Spouse)
Criminal Background Check
The Aspirancy Period: This is a period of prayer and reflection to discern his personal call
and the Church’s discernment of his vocation. Topics that are reflected on include: the
qualities of the diaconal ministry, personal discernment, the dimensions of formation, the
elements of being chosen, and the theology of the diaconate.
The Formation Period: The formaiton process is at least five years in length, addressing
the intellectual, pastoral, spiritual and human dimensions of growth.
Intellectual formation includes a five-year course of theological studies
Pastoral formation includes internships in parishes and liturgical training
Spiritual formation includes discernment, spiritual direction and an active prayer life
Human formation includes cultivating human qualities both out of proper and due
growth and realization of self, and with a view ot the ministry.
Most High, Glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of our minds.
Give us a right faith,a firm hope and a
perfect charity, so that we may always
and in allthings act according to Your Holy Will.
God, you have created me
to do you some definate service:
You have committed some work to me
which you have not committed to another.
I have my mission - I may never know it in this life,
but I shall be told in the next.
Somehow I am necessary for your purposes.
I have a part in the great work; I am a link in a chain,
a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for nothing.
I shall do good, I shall do his work;
I shall be an angel of peace,
A preacher of truth in my own place.
Fulfill your high purposes in me,
I am here to serve you, to be yours.
For more information regarding the Permanent Diaconate,
Office of Diaconate Formation
Msgr. Mike Patnode, Director
601 15th Ave N
Moorhead MN 56560
The Permanent Diaconate