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Deacon Formation

Diaconate Ministry

Office of Formation for Permanent Deacons

(a program of the Diaconate Ministry)

The purpose for the Office of Formation for Permanent Deacons is to assist men and their families in the Diocese of Palm Beach in the discernment of the call to Holy Orders and to prepare them accordingly.  

Men applying for the Permanent Deacon Program should be aware of the
following General Requirements:

  • Be recommended by your Pastor
  • Between the ages of 35-55. Case by case consideration will be made for men up to the age of 60.
  • If married, you need the consent of your wife. If you are not married, you must be willing to promise celibacy at ordination.
  • Children must all be over 5 years of age.
  • While college is preferred, we will accept men who have completed high school. College graduates will complete a Master of Arts in Theology at the Seminary during their training. Others will receive a certificate of studies.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Be functionally literate in the English language.
  • Be a resident of the Diocese of Palm Beach, ideally active in your parish for a period of 3-5 years at the time of your application.
  • Be in good health and be willing to submit to psychological evaluations.
  • Have no criminal record (felony)
  • Never have attempted marriage outside of the Catholic Church, even civilly. This means that if you married in a civil ceremony while awaiting a decree of nullity, you are not eligible for Holy Orders.
  • Never have cooperated in voluntary homicide or abortion even indirectly.
  • Never left the Catholic Church by a formal act or by publicly endorsing teachings contrary to the faith.
  • Not in public or private religious vows

What Happens Next?

Complete the application and send it into the Office of Permanent Deacons. The office will begin accepting applications from candidates starting January 1, 2022. Accepted candidates will begin the formation process in the Fall of 2023.

Please be aware that we cannot process any application without accompanying sacramental documentation and applicable academic transcripts. Do NOT send us an application without the required documents.

The Committee on Admissions and Scrutinies will review the application. You will be notified by the end of May in most cases so that, if accepted, you can make arrangements with the Diocesan psychologist for standardized evaluations before the Fall Semester begins.

If you are accepted into the Formation Program, you begin a five year process leading to ordination through prayer, reflection, academic, and pastoral preparation. You need to approach the process with an open heart, mind, and soul to accomplish the work of God in your life.

Deacons currently serve the Diocese of Palm Beach in parishes, schools, nursing homes, faith formation programs, the RCIA, prisons and hospitals. Men ordained will generally receive a parish assignment as well as a ministry of service to the Diocese.

Please download, print, and fill out the form below. Don't forget to have your parish priest sign the application.

Mail to:
Office of Permanent Deacons
9995 N. Military Trail
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410