Formation Program

Come and See meetings to learn more about the Permanent Diaconate and the Formation Program will be held from January 21 to March 26, 2020, at various parishes. Please see below for locations and dates.

Persons interested in becoming a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Washington should meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a baptized and confirmed Catholic man at least thirty years old but not older than sixty by the time formation begins
  • Be a registered and active member of a parish of the Archdiocese of Washington
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident (holding a “green card”) of the United States of America.
  • If a recent convert, be a practicing Catholic for at least five years
  • If married, be in a healthy, valid Catholic marriage for at least five years
  • If married, have the approval of one’s wife and family
  • If unmarried, be freely willing to embrace celibacy at ordination
  • Be in good health and financially independent
  • Have the support of one’s parish pastor
  • Be proficient in writing and speaking English
  • Have a legacy of service to Church and community
  • Exhibit concern for social justice
  • Be able to relate well with others
  • Be capable of college level studies
  • Be open to discern one’s vocation and willing to accept that one may not be called to the diaconate.

The formation program to become a permanent deacon lasts five years: a year of discernment, called aspirancy, which starts with a mandatory retreat in October for the aspirants, and four years of pastoral, spiritual and academic formation as a candidate for Holy Orders. The formation program is free with the exception of books and other related fees, and is administered by the Archdiocese of Washington.

During the four years of candidacy, candidates meet two evenings a week for classes and have responsibilities during the summer and on occasional weekends, including a mandatory retreat for candidates and wives every year in late August. Classes are held at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Washington and are video-conferenced to locations in Montgomery County and Southern Maryland.

Persons interested in applying for the formation program are encouraged to read the selection procedures for the Permanent Diaconate and to submit an Inquirer’s Information Sheet.

Click here to download the 2020 Diaconate brochure.

Come and See Events

The Office of Permanent Diaconate Formation of the Archdiocese of Washington will begin a new cycle of recruitment and preparation of men for the diaconate. The initial selection process for the next aspirancy class will be preceded with a series of “Come & See” events at various parishes around the Archdiocese.

Come and See meetings for the Ordination Class of 2025 and subsequent classes will be held: 
• February 22, 2020, after the 5 PM Vigil Mass, St. Nicholas (Laurel)
• February 27, 2020, 7 to 9 PM, Church of the Annunciation (NW D.C.)
• March 4, 2020, 7 to 9 PM, Church of the Incarnation (NE D.C.)
• March 10, 2020, 7 to 9 PM, St. John the Evangelist (Clinton)
• March 12, 2020, 7 to 9 PM, St. Peter (Olney)
• March 18, 2020, 7 to 9 PM, St. Catherine Labouré (Wheaton)
• March 19, 2020, 7 to 9 PM, Our Lady Help of Christians (Waldorf)
• March 26, 2020, 7 to 9 PM, St. Joseph (Largo)

Please contact Mrs. Diane Biggs in the Diaconate Formation Office by email or by phone at 301-853-5345 to RSVP for the Come and See meeting you plan to attend. If your wife is also attending, please give her name to Mrs. Biggs as well. Wives are strongly encouraged to attend. Deacons and wives of deacons will be present to share their experiences and to answer questions formally and informally.

Contact Deacon Charles Huber, Assistant Director of Formation by email or at 301-853-4582 with any questions you may have.