National Directory

Chapter Six Candidate Stage of Diaconal Formation I. Introduction

213. THE CANDIDATE STAGE of initial formation is the occasion to con firm a man’s diaconal vocation 1 and prepare for ordination. Through out this stage of formation, the candidate himself assumes the primary responsibility for his discernment and development. 2 “Self-formation does not imply isolation . . . or independence from formators, but respon sibility and dynamism in responding with generosity to God’s call, valuing to the highest the people and tools which Providence puts at one’s dispo sition. Self-formation has its roots in a firm determination to grow in life according to the Spirit and in conformity with the vocation received.” 3 II. The Length of the Candidate Stage of Formation 214. In accord with the Code of Canon Law , the Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons by the Congregation for Catholic Education speci fies that the candidate stage of diaconal formation “must last at least three years, in addition to the propaedeutic period , for all candidates.” 4 Readiness for ordination is assessed annually by both the candidate and formation personnel to ascertain what level of achievement the candidate has reached in his understanding of the diaconal vocation, its rights and its obliga tions, his growth in the spiritual life, his competency in required diaconal knowledge and skills, his practical experience in pastoral ministry, and his witness of human and affective maturity. If he is married, a discernment

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