The applicants must be no younger than thirty-five (35) or older than sixty (60) years of age to be accepted for consideration. Exceptions to this requirement are not normally granted.
The applicant must be recommended by his pastor and must have been involved in some kinds of ministry in his parish for a period of at least five years. Particularly desired is experience in ministries involving social outreach.
If the applicant is married, he must have been married for at least five years and be in a stable marriage. Furthermore, such a marriage must be canonically recognized by the Church. Since the Sacrament of Marriage and the Sacrament of Holy Orders must never compete, the spouse of an applicant must be supportive of her husband's desire to enter into the formation program. She should also be willing to participate in those programs and activities where the participation of spouses is required. In addition, the presence of young children in the family may be a factor in reaching a decision about acceptance into the program.
The applicant should be physically and emotionally healthy and stable. He should be free from addictive behavior. The applicant will be expected to undergo a criminal background check through the Office for Healing and Assistance of the Archdiocese of Hartford.
The applicant must be gainfully employed and self-sufficient. It is expected that diaconal responsibilities will normally be an addition to the deacon's secular occupation.
If the applicant was not raised as a Catholic, a period of five years must have elapsed since his baptism or full reception into communion with the Catholic Church.
Minimally, a secondary school diploma or its equivalent is required. It is preferred that the applicant have some college background.
The applicant must demonstrate a willingness to commit to all of the aspects of the Diaconate Formation Program. The required studies must be completed successfully during the period of formation.
Among the many qualities and skills needed for effective and fruitful ministry as deacons, the following are minimally required for admission into the formation program:
a desire to grow in the spiritual life
a demonstrated ability to work with others and to serve the needs of others
a healthy sense of self-esteem
responsibility; a capacity for initiative; potential for pastoral leadership
intelligence and a capacity for study
respect for authority and a commitment to the Church
a balanced understanding of the priorities involved in marriage, one's secular occupation, and the demands of the formation program and, eventually, the mininstry
a sense of vocation from God to serve the Church as a deacon