Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Information session for newest Deacon Formation Program set for May 18
the Inland Register
(From the May 1, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)
After several months of consultation and consideration of options, officials responsible for the formation of permanent deacons for the Diocese of Spokane are ready to announce the parameters of a revised program. They hope for a more collaborative weather pattern than the snow-laden one which interfered with a similar presentation last January.
The 3 p.m. information session is scheduled for Sunday, May 18, at Assumption Parish, 3624 W Indian Trail Road, Spokane, where Father Michael Savelesky, director of the Deacon Formation Program, serves as pastor. The session is open to those men (and spouses) from any parish in the diocese who are interested in responding to a vocation to the ministry of deacon.
At the session, Father Savelesky and Deacon John Sicilia, the diocese’s Director of Deacons, will oversee the presentation of general information about the ministry of deacons and an outline of a revised Deacon Formation Program.
No specific date has been set for the reactivation of the Deacon Formation Program, but a re-start this coming September is anticipated, according to Father Savelesky.
Among alterations in the formation program from previous years, the revised program will lead candidates into formation through stages of study, dialogue and assessment. The program will begin with a brief period of enrollment, study and exploration, followed by more formal screening and application. This second “aspirancy” stage will intensify participants’ understanding of the ministry of deacons as well intensify their discernment of a vocation to the diaconate.
“Screening applicants and candidates perhaps is the most critical and challenging part of the formation program,” said Father Savelesky. “Obviously, the responsibility to select qualified men and prepare them well weighs heavily on the minds and hearts of those of us who are responsible for the implementation of the Deacon Formation Program.”
The first two stages precede final acceptance into a three-year formal period of preparation before ordination to the Church’s office of deacon.
The diocese’s Deacon Formation Programs began in 1975. As each class reached ordination, the programs were examined and evaluated for their effectiveness and modified as needed.
The program, said Father Savelesky, “has matured in effectiveness and focus in providing our local Church with dedicated men who are ordained to assist the bishop and priests with the proclamation of the Gospel and meeting the pastoral needs of the Body of Christ. God willing, the formation program we are preparing to reactivate this fall will produce another group of equally dedicated servants.”
More than 50 men already have expressed their interest in becoming permanent deacons, he said.
The 2008 edition of the Official Directory of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane lists 55 deacons associated with the Diocese of Spokane.
(For more information about the Deacon Formation Program, e-mail DFP@dioceseofspokane .org. Contact Father Savelesky at Assumption Parish, 3624 W. Indian Trail Rd., Spokane, WA 99208; (509) 326-0144.)