Deacons share in Christ's mission and grace in a special way. The call to diaconal service is a gift of the Spirit to the Church. Deacon Formation is the process for discerning whether or not a particular person has these gifts of Christ-like charity and service. Here in the Diocese of Belleville, we facilitate this process through a 5-year program of human, spiritual, doctrinal, and pastoral formation. It is a 5-year program through the St. Meinrad School of Theology. Classes are held at the Diocesan Pastoral Center at 2620 Lebanon Avenue, Belleville.
The first year of formation is known as aspirancy and consists of one-day workshops held once a month. Following aspirancy, the next four years are more demanding, involving one weekend per month (Friday evenings, all day Saturday, and Sunday mornings) for academic studies. Presently, those in formation are scheduled to be ordained in the year 2018. Later in 2017, the diocese will begin a process of seeking those who may be interested in pursuing the diaconate in the next class. When we are ready for informational meetings we will advertise in The Messenger and in parish bulletins.