Dimensions of Formation
There are four dimensions of Deacon Formation:
- Human Formation is the foundation of the other three.
- Spiritual Formation informs the other three.
- Intellectual Formation enables the understanding of the other three;
- Pastoral Formation expresses the other three in practice.
“The intellectual dimension of formation communicates a knowledge of the faith and church tradition that is ‘complete and serious’ so that each deacon will be prepared to carry out his vital ministry.” (National Directory, para 118)
Intellectual formation is a necessary dimension of ongoing diaconal formation insofar as it offers the deacon a substantial nourishment for his spiritual life and a precious instrument for his ministry. It is particularly urgent today, in the face of the challenge of the Church within our communities, and in the world as a whole.
Religious indifference, obscuring of values, loss of ethical convergence, and cultural pluralism demand that those involved in the ordained ministry have an intellectual formation which is complete and serious.
The deacon, as ordained minister, must be knowledgeable of the doctrine of the Church in order to be a faithful and reliable witness and spokesman for the Church and her teaching.
Intellectual Formation includes:
- Sacred Scripture
- Catholic Social Teaching
- Catholic Dogma and Doctrine
- Catholic Morality
- Ecumenism and Inter-religious Dialogue
- The Catechism
- Church Fathers and Church History
- Canon Law and Application
- The Liturgy and Rites of The Church
- Christian Evangelization