The Journey to Becoming a Deacon
The sacrament of deacon ordination (one form of holy orders) marks a man with a character that is permanent and configures him to Christ, the servant of all. In the Diocese of Charlotte, the process of becoming a deacon includes the following steps:
Interested men apply and must demonstrate a love of the faith, involvement in ministries in their home parish, and a calling to service. Also, if they are married, their wife must give consent for him to apply. If they are single, they must commit to a life of celibacy. Applications are reviewed thoroughly by the diocese’s Diaconal Formation Team.
Classes are held for those selected (“aspirants”) and their wives. The sessions include interviews to learn more about the couples, classes on the Catholic faith, and guidelines to determining a true calling. The process allows the Formation Team to discern the capability and readiness of the aspirant to be nominated to the bishop and formally accepted as a candidate for formation.
Candidates and their wives participate through in-person and virtual classes in four areas of formation: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral. Instruction is provided by the Belmont Abbey College Theology Department and members of the Formation Team.
At the conclusion of the formation period, candidates are thoroughly assessed by the Formation Team and if selected, called to ordination by the bishop.