Tuesday, April 28, 2009
We had our first meeting of Aspirants on April 25th, 2009. There were nine men selected for the Aspirancy portion of the Permanent Diaconate Formation Program. Anne and I were very excited to meet the other Aspirants and some of their wives. We started the day with welcoming remarks from Father Tom and then Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. After Morning Prayer we went around the table and introduced ourselves to the group. There were also two Permanent Deacons from the Arlington Diocese at the meeting. Deacon Sam gave us a wonderful history lesson on the Permanent Deaconate in the Church today. He was ordained in 1984 and he has a wealth of knowledge based on his vast experience. Father Tom celebrated Mass and then we had lunch. In the afternoon we received a welcome to the Diaconal Community and Father Tom went over some of the details of our upcoming spiritual formation. Each Aspirant will be guided by three key people: 1) their pastor, 2) a Spiritual Director, and 3) a Permanent Deacon mentor. There are also three committees that will oversee our progress over the next five years: 1) Formation Advisory Committee, 2) Admissions Committee, and 3) Evaluations Committee. Each committee consists of a combination of priests and deacons. We ended the day with an introduction to the Liturgy of the Hours by Father Paul and then Evening Prayer. It was a wonderful experience and we are looking forward to the next meeting on May 9th.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
We received the schedule for our first meeting this Saturday. One of the items on the agenda is the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours. Also known as the Divine Office or Breviary, the Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer of the Church offered at various times of the day in order to sanctify it. Clergy and religious have an obligation to pray the Liturgy of the Hours as official representatives of the Church. These days the laity are increasingly praying the Liturgy of the Hours as well, although they do not have an obligation to do so. We will be using the 4-volume Liturgy of the Hours published by the Catholic Book Publishing Company. The prayers for the Easter Season are in Volume II.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
During the Aspirancy period of the Diaconate Formation Program my wife and I will be attending meetings one Saturday per month from April through December 2009. Aspirancy will include an Introduction to Theoogy class where the aspirants will be required to take exams, write papers and give short presentations. There will be a final exam and grades will be given. The aspirants will experience a screening process which will determine their eligibility for acceptance into the formation program. Interviews will be conducted for the applicants and their wives (if married). In addition, workshops will be offered on various aspects of the permanent diaconate. There will also be psychological testing for the aspirants and their spouses. In December 2009 the aspirant and those responsible to the Bishop for his formation will discern if God is indeed calling the aspirant to candidacy. If all indications are that the aspirant is being called to the vocation, a notice of acceptance to formation will be sent out from the Director of Permanent Diaconate during the month of December.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Bishop Paul S. Loverde has accepted my application to begin the Aspirancy period of the Permanent Diaconate Formation Program in the Diocese of Arlington. After the nine-month Aspirancy period of discernment is successfully completed I will attend classes consisting of spiritual, theological and pastoral formation conducted by the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College for two weekends per month over a four-year period. God willing, I will be ordained as a Permanent Deacon at the conclusion of the candidacy program. Please keep my wife and I in your prayers as we seek to follow God’s will.