A man discerning his vocation to the permanent diaconate must fully participate in the Inquiry period in order to be considered an applicant. The Inquiry period is a time set aside to discern the Lord’s will. The National Directory states:
“The first stirrings of a vocation to the diaconate are often explored at a personal level and usually begins with seeking information about the diaconate and formation….an individual initially reflects upon the nature of his perceived call. Primacy must be given at this time to the spiritual dimension…[§169, p. 78].”
An inquiry and eventual application for entrance into diaconal formation is not just a personal and family journey. The Church must accompany it.
In 2016, a new formation program was instituted in partnership with St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, NY. Candidates who successfully complete the academic program will receive a Master’s Degree in Theology.
The Diaconate Formation Program is a small, caring community where the dignity of the individual is valued. The four and a half-year formation program integrates the human with the spiritual, intellectual, pastoral and diaconal dimensions.
Through prayer, study and the grace of the Holy Spirit, the aspirant and candidate undergoes a transformation of heart and mind as he prepares to be a servant-leader (diakonos) of Word, Altar, and Charity to the People of God in the Diocese of Bridgeport.