National Directory

Chapter Five Aspirant Stage of Diaconal Formation I. Introduction

190. UPON COMPLETION of the initial inquiry process, the diocesan bishop may accept some inquirers into aspirancy. This aspirant stage of diaconal formation, as described in this National Directory , corre sponds to the “propaedeutic period” required by the Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons of the Congregation for Catholic Education. 1 The aspirant stage is primarily a time to discern the capa bility and readiness of an aspirant to be nominated to the diocesan bishop for acceptance as a candidate for diaconal ordination. 2 191. Those responsible for the aspirant stage of formation must be thor oughly familiar with the doctrinal understanding of the diaconate, including its ministry and life and the dimensions of formation, as described in the Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons and this Directory . These components converge on a common goal: to enable the aspirant to demonstrate the possibility of a diaconal voca tion and an appropriate level of readiness for eventual selection into candidate formation. 3 192. To create an environment conducive to adult Christian formation, the director of formation should maintain an aspirant handbook that details the components of the program, provides a rationale and guidance for assessment, and clearly delineates the expectations and responsibilities

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