1. Church Initiation: All men applying for the Diaconate must be fully initiated members of the Latin Catholic Church (i.e., baptized, confirmed and have received Holy Communion). Further, all men who have participated in the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) and have received full initiation into the Catholic Church must wait at least five years before applying for the Diaconate.
2. Age: “Inquirers” interested in applying to diaconal formation must be between 35 and 60 years old.
3. Marriage: All married inquirers should be part of a stable and loving Catholic marriage for no less than five years before making their application. (Any potential applicants who may be experiencing serious difficulties in their marriage should postpone applying for the Diaconate until those issues are completely resolved.) Their marriage must also be canonically valid, proof of which must be made by the presentation of a Catholic certificate. Further, all married inquirers must obtain the written consent of their wives before being admitted into Aspirancy Formation.
4. Single Men: At the time of the application, all single men who seek entry into diaconal formation must remain celibate throughout their formation process and for the rest of their lives (remain unmarried). No exemption is granted for this rule; therefore all single men must have a clear understanding of the celibate life they are called to live.
5. National Status: All inquirers must be American citizens (native born or naturalized), permanent residents or possess an appropriate visa that allows them to be legally present in the United States. All inquirers must also possess a valid social security number before applying for Aspirancy. It must also be noted that all diaconal candidates must have legal status in the United States before being ordained. Further, the diocese will not sponsor any potential candidates for immigration status.
6. Pastor’s Recommendation: All inquirers must receive the written recommendation of their pastors before beginning the admission process into Aspirancy.
7. Parochial Involvement: All inquirers must have a substantial record of parochial service before entering Aspirancy. A substantial record of service is defined as active involvement in the parochial life and ministries of his parish for a minimum of three years.
8. Educational Background: All inquirers must be high school graduates or have earned the appropriate equivalent (either in the United States or their native country). Some college background is also preferred.