In response to contemporary circumstances and needs, bishops attending Vatican Council II voted to restore the ancient office of the permanent diaconate. The move to establish the diaconate in Oakland originated with the Priests Senate in 1973. Bishop Begin approved the program in 1974. The first deacon class of twenty-seven men was ordained on February 17, 1978. Since then, six additional classes have been ordained. Currently, over 100 deacons provide distinguished service to the community.
The formation process moves through stages: Inquiry and Discernment, Aspirancy, Candidacy and finally Ordination. As with all vocations, a man considering the Permanent Diaconate must discern God’s will for his life and whether he is being called to be a deacon. During the Inquiry and Discernment stage, workshops providing tools for discernment are conducted prior to application to the program. These workshops are for the inquirer and his wife, if married.
We can place your name on a waiting list for the next formation class or provide further information to assist with your inquiry and discernment. Learn more...
Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ and the 2013 Newly Ordained Permanent Deacons
Partial list of Candidate Qualifications:
- Practicing Catholic for 10 years or more
- Must have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, and be validly married by the Church, if applicable
- At least 35 years of age but not older than 55 years of age at the time of application
- Good physical and mental health
- Gainfully employed or retired
- Sufficient time to devote to the formation program
- If married, both oral and written support, endorsement and consent of his wife and family. His wife should be wiling to participate in the formation process
- Demonstrated leadership ability. Capacity to fulfill the social justice ministry component of the deacon's ministry
- A commitment to celibacy is required of non-married candidates, as well as widowers
Rev. Mark Amaral
Director for Deacon Formation