Details of the Diaconate
Formation Program - General Information
The formation program is four years in length. The first year is focused on discernment of the vocational call to the diaconate. This year, referred to as the year of Aspirancy, includes presentations on the ministry of the diaconate, scripture classes, retreats, and spiritual formation. Meetings take place on Monday and Wednesday evenings from September through April, with a holiday break in December. Classes begin with evening prayer at 7:00PM and usually end at about 9:30PM. Spiritual formation days (9:00AM to 3:00PM) are held on some Saturdays for the men, usually three times per semester.
In the event that an application is accepted, wives of Aspirants are expected to attend all sessions during this first year. While they are not expected to, they remain invited to attend all sessions in subsequent years of the Diaconal program. Programs are also scheduled specifically for the wives, on occasion.
Years 2 through 4 consist of a similar meeting schedule but focused on academic courses and pastoral training. Pastoral field experiences, including an intensive summer internship at the end of the 3rd year, are also included in the program. Candidates are evaluated each year to discern their readiness to continue in formation and eventually to ordination.
The Archdiocese of Boston has now centralized its location to the site of The Institute of the New Evangelization ( TINE) at 149 Washington Street, Brighton, MA ( located a few blocks from Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital, about half way between Washington Street and Commonwealth Avenue) . This new location is more central to the Greater Boston area, will create a unified community of Diaconal Aspirants and Candidates in once central location, and gives the program more access to the faculty of Saint John’s Seminary. The TINE program now offers its two degree programs at significantly reduced tuition as an option to the matriculating Diaconal candidate: the Master of Arts in Ministry degree and the Master of Theological Studies for the New Evangelization.
The diaconate formation program is also open for our brothers for whom English is not their primary language. We have men from the Hispanic, Brazilian, Haitian, Korean, and Vietnamese communities in the program presently. Our formation program is offered primarily in English, however candidates are allowed to do written work for the classes in their native languages. Bi-lingual faculty are made available whenever possible. Every four years we also offer parallel academic classes in the Spanish language