The Aspirancy Year is a year of intense discernment. The year includes an orientation day, evening classes of instruction, Spirituality Conferences and Days of Recollection/Workshops. The Aspirancy Year begins with a weekend retreat and ends at the following year’s retreat, normally held the first full weekend in August (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).
During this year, an Aspirant will be introduced to diaconal spirituality and ministry, challenged to grow in self-awareness, and take part in supervised pastoral experiences. Discernment for the diaconate begins on a personal level with an intuition that one is being called and then quickly moves to a community level—his family, pastor, and the Archbishop are all part of the process.
Since many permanent deacons are married, it is important to know that the Church places great value on the input of the Aspirant’s wife and family in the discernment process. An applicant cannot be considered without his wife’s informed, written consent at each step. The same is true of the applicant’s pastor, who will be asked to recommend the applicant from his parish. In addition, the community that we form together—with its own times of gathering and prayer—is an essential component of listening to the voice of God.
Finally, it is the Archbishop, informed by those he appoints, to select and form deacon candidates for ordination and who determines in an applicant the presence of a call, the capacity to fulfill it, personal readiness, and the willingness to serve the Church. Thus, the Church determines that the time is right for the applicant given his family and work circumstances and the needs of the Archdiocese. While an individual may feel a strong personal call, it is important to keep in mind the ecclesial nature of the call to ordained ministry.
ASPIRANCY COURSE CURRICULUM
Instructional Classes are held in the evening from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. during the Fall and Spring Semesters of the Seminary. These classes are undergraduate level classes and run through the Graduate School of Theology.
Philosophy for Theology (2 Credits)
Catechism of the Church (2 Credits)
History of Spirituality (2 Credits)