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When the application process begins, the discernment process continues with particular focus on the applicant’s abilities and potential for ordained ministry. Both the applicant and Diocese of Joliet enter into an intensive screening process.

Basic Requirements to Become a Deacon

  • A fully initiated Catholic and a practicing member of a parish within the Diocese of Joliet for at least four years
  • At least 31 years old, but no more than 60 years old
  • A high school diploma or its equivalent, and be capable of freshman college-level work
  • At least three years of significant involvement in some aspect of parish ministry
  • If married, be in a valid Catholic marriage and have the consent of his wife (those recently married should live their married vocation for five years prior to requesting admittance into the diaconate formation program)
  • If unmarried, be living a celibate lifestyle
  • For those recently widowed, at least three years should elapse prior to acceptance into the diaconate formation program
  • Five years should elapse between a convert’s or returning Catholic’s entry into the Church and his acceptance into the diaconate formation program
  • Demonstrated stability in life situations: marriage, family, employment, residence, physical, and emotional health
  • Legal U.S. resident


To begin the application process, please contact the Office of the Diaconate at (815) 221-6174