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Application Screening and Acceptance Process

  • Application due: May 1, 2017
  • Each applicant (and spouse) who meets objective pre-requisites will be interviewed
  • Inquiry to canonical freedom and impediments will also be conducted
  • Office of Clergy Personnel will contact your references
  • Each candidate will have a full Psychological Assessment (Spouse also participates in a portion)
  • Criminal Background Check and Fingerprinting will be completed on each candidate

Aspirancy Formation

The Aspirancy Period is a year long Discernment and Reflection period by the Church and the candidates. This includes ten full-day sessions a year held at St. Mary’s Seminary. Standard topics include: qualities of diaconal ministry, four dimensions of formation (human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral), overview of diversity of diaconal ministry, understanding of Catechism,  presentations by deacons and wives, professional boundaries,  protection of children, spiritual direction, and theological reflection. Diaconal formation is demanding and challenging mentally and emotionally.  The candidate must be ready to engage fully into formation and be willing to be formed.  The candidate will e asked to take on a social ministry during this period.

The Candidate's Wife:

  • Must be strongly supportive of husband’s initiative;
  • Participates in application and interview process;
  • Participates in psychological assessment (interview and testing with psychologist);
  • Is required to attend the monthly sessions during the Aspirancy Period;
  • Is welcome to attend the theological formation sessions to understand further the role of the deacon;
  • Is required to attend any special workshops that may arise (ample notice will be given);
  • Is required to attend an annual weekend retreat; and
  • Must write a letter to the Archbishop at the time of ordination stating your support for your husband to be ordained:

Candidates Cost and Expenses

There is no direct cost to the candidate. The Archdiocese of Baltimore assumes the cost of the theological sessions and the retreats. Each candidate pays approximately $250 per year for books, though some parishes might cover this expense. The formation team is willing to contact the parish on the candidate's behalf. Each candidate assumes the cost of the spiritual director. The Archdiocese is willing to defray these costs to a candidate as well. A candidate also encounters certain other expenses such as the four-volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours, albs and books on the liturgical rites. The candidate is asked to defray the cost of the lunch on the days of class. There are also various expenses incurred at ordination.

For questions or more information, you may contact the Division of Clergy Personnel.