The training and formation of candidates for the office of deacon in the Eparchy of St. Josaphat is conducted over a period of four years with the aim of forming and developing the whole person. In concentrating on the development of the whole person, the program consists of courses and programs that develop the human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral dimensions of each participant.
Participants work on a part-time schedule of study that consists of private study, classroom study and practicums during residencies, practicums at the parish level, and other spiritual and social programs. This philosophical and theological training is intended to provide the future deacon with enough knowledge of philosophy, theology, and related subjects to make him confident and comfortable in the ministry he will exercise. This required intellectual training and formation includes courses in sacred Scripture, catechesis, homiletics, liturgical, sacramental theology, some areas of systematic theology, and philosophy.
Life of Prayer and Service
The spiritual aspect of the training program consists in opportunities designed to help the candidate understand himself and his potential for spiritual growth. The program seeks to provide motivation, inspiration, and information so that the potential deacon can pray better and integrate his study, future ministry, daily work, and family life. A life of prayer and service must come together in the person of the future deacon.
The parish that sponsors a candidate for the office of deacon is expected to pay his room and board for the program residencies. For his part, the candidate is to pay his tuition and the cost of books and supplies. Beyond that, the sponsor is expected to provide a situation in which the candidate can perform a practicum. This is intended to provide the candidate with field experience under the sponsor’s supervision to provide the future deacon with ministerial skills and pastoral sensitivity. This practicum seeks to provide theological awareness from the actual context of ministry, and to help him to test his capacities, capabilities, interests, strengths and weaknesses. It is intended to provide an opportunity to deepen his faith and strengthen his commitment to serve, and to provide an arena for the integration of all other aspects of his training. The sponsor agrees to provide a written assessment of the candidate’s performance as requested by the director of the program.
Three officers coordinate the work of the program:
- The director is responsible for the over-all functioning of the program and is chairman of the faculty;
- The spiritual director, who serves as the official chaplain, shall be available to any who wish his services as spiritual mentor and guide. He shall advise the director on spiritual exercises and similar matters. He provides a spiritual conference once each session for those in the program;
- The Administrator is responsible for the temporal and physical needs of the program and for coordinating food service, accommodations, social activities, and similar needs for the faculty and for those enrolled. The director can fulfill the role of Administrator if necessary.
Director: Very Reverend Mark W. Shuey
Administrator: David Rinehart, OSF
Other faculty: Dr. Anthony Dragani