Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted has endorsed the establishment of a new diaconate formation cohort that will work together for the next five years toward ordination in 2020 as permanent deacons for the Diocese of Phoenix.
To be considered for admission to the inquiry stage of formation, a man must meet the canonical requirements established by Rome as well as the requirements set forth by Bishop Olmsted. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Candidates must be at least 30 years of age but no older than 55;
- Current enrollment or completion of the Prepare the Way or Caminante program offered by the Kino Institute;
- A minimum of five years as a baptized member of the Church
- Two years of ministry in a local parish
- Citizenship/permanent residency status
- An address that is within the Diocese of Phoenix
- An applicant’s pastor must write a letter of recommendation in order for him to apply. This letter must be received in the Diaconate Office by July 31, 2015.
Prospective candidates who are married must be in a stable marriage for a minimum of three years. If not married, men must be willing to commit to a lifetime of celibacy.
Deacon Doug Bogart, associate director of education and formation for the office of the diaconate, said that the diocese currently has 18 men in formation who will be ordained in the coming years. Eight men were ordained as permanent deacons in November. It’s a five-year formation process, with two of those years consisting of participation in Kino Institute’s catechetical program.
“The role of the deacon is to help the bishop take his apostolic ministry out to the street — to hospitals, prisons, parishes and so on,” Deacon Bogart said. “They are meeting a great need to take the servant ministry of Christ out into the world.”
Ten years ago, it was Deacon Bogart who was being ordained. He said he has found the role to be very fulfilling. “Christ came to serve, not to be served,” he said, quoting Scripture. “St. John Paul II said the deacons are the icon of the servant ministry of Christ.”
Inquiry meetings for prospective candidates are scheduled to be held throughout the diocese.
- Jan. 13, 6:30-9 p.m., St. Bernadette Parish, 16245 N. 60th St., Scottsdale
- Feb. 7, 9 a.m.-noon, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, 5614 W. Orangewood, Glendale
- Feb. 10, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Holy Cross Parish, 1244 S. Power Rd. Mesa
- Feb. 28, 9 a.m.-noon, Immaculate Conception Parish, 700 N. Bill Gray Rd. Cottonwood