National Directory



the deacon, and to a more attentive discernment of his call. This period is also a time to form an aspirant community with its own cycle of meetings and prayer. Finally, this period is to ensure the aspirant’s regular participa tion in spiritual direction, to introduce him to the pastoral ministries of the diocesan Church, and to assist his family in their support of his formation. 9 II. The Dimensions of Formation in the Aspirant Stage 196. At the aspirant level in formation, the following objectives are to be highlighted. These are presented in greater detail in chapter three, “Dimensions in the Formation of Deacons.” 197. In his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis , St. John Paul II quotes propositio 21 of the 1990 extraordinary synod of bish ops: “The whole work of priestly formation would be deprived of its necessary foundation if it lacked a suitable human formation.” 10 In a similar way, the same may be said about the human dimension of diaco nal formation. The goal of a suitable human formation is to help the aspirant develop “his human personality in such a way that it becomes a bridge and not an obstacle for others in their meeting with Jesus Christ.” 11 This might be more effectively achieved by giving attention to such areas as marriage development, emotional healing and matur ing, integration of diaconal sacramental identity with life in a secular world after ordination, stress reduction, and virtue inculcation. 198. The aspirant stage of formation is also a time for a married aspirant and his wife to assess the quality of their relationship and consider the ramifications that his possible ordination to the diaconate will have for their married life. For the single aspirant, it is a time to discern his capacity and receptivity for celibacy. Human Dimension

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