Applicant Requirements for the Diaconate

Note: The next deacon class (Class 22) will begin in early 2022.

Age: At time of ordination, candidates must be a minimum of 35 years old and a maximum of 60 years.  In effect, formation should begin by age 56.

Church Life: A practicing Roman Catholic of at least five years and a member of his current parish for at least 3 years.  If less than 3 years at the current parish, what was the location of the previous parish?

Marital Status: If married, minimum of seven years of marriage and have a stable family life.  Spouse must support the applicant’s interest in diaconate.  She must be willing to be involved in stated aspects of the screening process and the formation process.  If there are children in the home, they must also be considered.  If single, candidate must be committed to the single life and willing to maintain celibacy after ordination.

Community: Participation and involvement in the general community.  Candidates should be involved in serving in the civic community, the marketplace or the Church in ministries of charity, justice and peace.

Education: Completion of high school or GED, also the ability to do college level courses required in the diaconate program.

Health: Candidates for ministry must be in good health physically and psychologically.  The Candidate must have sufficiently good health for the demands of ministry.  Doctor’s statement required.

Psychological: well-balanced mental health, willingness to undergo required psychological evaluation during Aspirancy Year.

Spirituality: Deacons must develop a consistent prayer life that includes private and public prayer.  Candidates should nurture their prayer life with spiritual reading.

Employment: A stable employment record is expected of candidates to the diaconate.

Residency:  A Candidate must be a resident of the diocese or be determined to devote himself to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.  Candidates must have a history as a registered member of a parish for three years or be affiliated with a Catholic institution within the diocese.  If new to the diocese, letters of reference from his previous diocese are required.

What about the Application Process? Prospective Candidates – and, spouse, if married – should expect the application process to include the following steps:

  • Step One — participation in Information and Discernment Sessions
  • Step Two — complete the formal written application
  • Step Three — participate in a home visit and individual interviews
  • Step Four — submission of required sacramental and other documents
  • Step Five — undergo a criminal background check
  • Step Six — committee on Admissions and Scrutinies reviews all submitted materials and makes recommendation to the Bishop.

Commitment: Willing to make a lifetime commitment to ministry in the Catholic Church and community.  Able and willing to commit the required time to all aspects of the formation program.  The applicant must be willing to commit to regular involvement in the diaconate community, to participation in support and reflection groups and to continuing formation after ordination.

Revision Date:  04/26/2017

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