All Catholics baptized are called to holiness, but some men are called by God to become a deacon. This call must be carefully discerned through a process set forth by the Diocese of Joliet in accordance with the National Directory for the Formation and Ministry of the Permanent Diaconate in the United States.
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In discerning this vocation, it’s important to recognize that the desire to serve the Church in a greater capacity is not, in itself, a call to the diaconate. Laymen can serve in many ways through participation in organizations such as the Knights of Columbus, liturgical and pastoral ministries, and corporal works of mercy. The call to the diaconate begins with the desire to grow in greater intimacy with Christ.
A vocation to the diaconate is first often explored at a personal level and usually begins with seeking information about the diaconate and the formation program. We encourage individuals to reflect and connect with pastors or parish staff for the resources needed. In addition, all married men are required to receive support and consent from their wives. An entrance into diaconal formation is a family journey.
Personal Reflection Points for Discerning God’s Call
- Am I passionate about prayer that spills over into creative service to the Church?
- Am I deeply attentive to the Scriptures as an ongoing encounter with Jesus?
- Do I love the Church and am I willing to abide by Catholic doctrines and morals?
- Do I have a desire to evangelize and publicly proclaim my love of Christ and the Church?
- Do I possess a deep desire to empower the laity and embed myself deep within the secular world?
- Am I the willing to enter the vital work of defending the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of life and religious liberty?
- Am I willing to baptize, preach, witness marriage, pray at wakes, visit the sick and counsel the spiritually troubled?
- Above all, do I have a deep love and reverence for the Holy Eucharist?