Each candidate is to reflect on the following dimensions of his formation for ordination as a deacon in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. There is ample space to share your reflections.
The goal of human formation is to help the deacon candidate develop (document says enhance, which is more likely than develop) his personality (in other words, traits, considering that personalities are well set) in such a way that it (document says he) becomes a bridge and not an obstacle for others in their encounter with Jesus Christ. It is also a time for a married candidate and his wife to assess their marriage and to consider the ramifications of diaconate ordination (and ordained life) on it. For a single candidate, it is time to learn the Church’s understanding of and discern his capacity and receptivity for celibacy.
The goal of spiritual formation is to deepen the candidate’s living relationship with Jesus and to strengthen his commitment to the Church and its mission in the world. The candidate is to put on the mind of Christ, thereby nurturing attitudes, habits and practices which provide a foundation for the development of an authentic, healthy and ongoing (spirituality and) spiritual life. He must be committed to spiritual growth and a deepened life of prayer (personal, familial, communal and liturgical). He must understand well the relation between spirituality and his commitment to the Church’s ministry of charity and justice. His own spiritual growth will help him lead others spiritually. He must have a regular, open and candid relationship with a priest spiritual director.
The goal of intellectual formation is to bring the candidate to a deeper knowledge of the faith and Church tradition (so that he can communicate them to others in the ministries of word, liturgy and charity). From this knowledge and understanding, he should develop the ability to apply the Church’s teachings in every aspect of his life (personal, familial, communal and pastoral). He must see and apply the connection between faith and action, creed and life. He must also learn that intellectual formation is to be ongoing.
The goal of pastoral formation is to help the candidate discern and develop and demonstrate his gifts and to know his limitations for the threefold diaconal ministry of word, liturgy and charity. He must be exposed to all dimensions of pastoral life in a parish (or institution). He must develop, in particular, those leadership skills which will guide the Christian community to Jesus so that the community will be enthusiastic to bring Jesus to the world in the “new evangelization.” He must have a special concern for the Church’s work of justice and charity, gained through experience in this ministry since the deacon is to be an icon of Jesus the Servant.