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.
Pastoral Formation entails the development of skills and competencies that enable deacons to serve their communities well. It is the practical side of theology. Deacons must keep themselves aware of the challenges of the people they serve. They should continue to enhance their pastoral skills by gathering new insights on how to minister and allowing themselves to be evaluated so that they can continue to be formed.
- Good listening skills and pastoral sensitivity.
- The ability to use various resources properly and to refer to others and to seek help from others who are experts in areas where one does not feel competent.
- A demonstrated sensitivity to ecumenical interfaith and social justice issues in the Church and in the world.
- A demonstrated ability to serve the needs of others.
- A demonstrated ability to make a commitment to diaconal ministry according to the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.
- Competency in pastoral skills, especially in the proclamation of the Word of God and in leading worship.
- The ability to relate to a wide variety of people, e.g., adult women and men, teenagers, families, children, and peers.
- A demonstrated ability to work cooperatively and collegially with other ministers and to empower others to exercise their appropriate role.
- Competency to work effectively with large and small groups.
Pastoral Formation includes:
- Apprenticeship in various ministries of a deacon.
- Liturgical Practicums (lector, acolyte, funeral, marriage, baptism and diaconal ministry at mass).
- Theological Reflection.
- Pastoral Counseling.