Diaconate Admission Criteria


The following general criteria are consistent with the National Director for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States. Dependent upon individual circumstances, other factors may be considered which could also impact the admission process.

  1. Practicing Roman Catholic man who manifests Gospel values through his lifestyle and spirituality.
  2. A professed Catholic for at least three years prior to application.
  3. A wholesome love of the Church and a willingness to make a lifelong commitment to serve the Church of Detroit under the direction of the Archbishop. He must be a resident of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
  4. Favorable recommendation by the applicant’s parish pastor.
  5. History of involvement in parish ministry or other ministry.
  6. A wife must give her approval and agree to participate in a four-year aspirancy and formation process.
  7. If married: must be in a stable, sacramental (both husband and wife baptized) marriage for 10 years at the time of ordination. Must have the support of wife and be able to attend to spousal, parental and job responsibilities while in formation and after ordination.
  8. If single: must be willing to accept the Church’s discipline regarding celibacy. (If divorced with annulment: must have 5 years of stable single life at the time of application.)
  9. History of employment stability and ability to provide for self/family without undue emotional or physical stress during formation and after ordination.
  10. May not be convicted of a felony or have pleaded Nolo Contintendere “no contest”.
  11. Demonstration of physical, emotional, and psychological health necessary to complete formation and serve in active ministry after ordination without neglecting the aforementioned responsibilities. A medical examination is required of the applicant. A psychological assessment is required of the applicant and his wife and includes a fee to help defray a portion of the cost.
  12. Freedom from Canonical impediments. (i.e. 1983 Code of Canon Law: Canon 1041 which states:)
    • A person who labors under some form of insanity or other psychic defect due to which, after consultation with experts, he is judged incapable of rightly carrying out the ministry;
    • A person who has committed the delict of apostasy, heresy or schism;
    • A person who has attempted marriage, even a civil one only, either while he was impeded from entering marriage due to an existing matrimonial bond, sacred orders or a public perpetual vow of chastity, or with a woman bound by a valid marriage or by the same type of vow;
    • A person who has committed voluntary homicide or who has procured an effective abortion and all persons who positively cooperated in either;
    • A person who has seriously and maliciously mutilated himself or another person or person who has attempted suicide;
    • A person who has performed an act of orders which has been reserved to those who are in the order of episcopacy or presbyterate while the person either lacked that order or had been forbidden its exercise by some declared or inflicted canonical penalty.
  13. Education: High School Diploma or equivalent and completion of six of the prerequisite Pastoral Ministry studies (or equivalent college-level courses accepted by Sacred Heart Major Seminary.)
  14. Availability: Must be able to attend classes, monthly Formation Days, annual retreat, etc. Following ordination must be able to give 8 to 10 hours weekly to diaconal ministry.
  15. Age: Minimum age of 35 at time of ordination; maximum age of 65 at time of ordination.

Please note, the criteria are subject to change without notice.