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.
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.