Answering the Call to Serve - Deacon Formation

Deacons share in Christ's mission and grace in a special way.  The call to diaconal service is a gift of the Spirit to the Church.  Deacon Formation is the process for discerning whether or not a particular person has these gifts of Christ-like charity and service.  Here in the Diocese of Belleville, we facilitate this process through a 5-year program of human, spiritual, doctrinal, and pastoral formation.  It is a 5-year program through the St. Meinrad School of Theology.  Classes are held at the Diocesan Pastoral Center at 2620 Lebanon Avenue, Belleville.  

The first year of formation is known as aspirancy and consists of one-day workshops held once a month.  Following aspirancy, the next four years are more demanding, involving one weekend per month (Friday evenings, all day Saturday, and Sunday mornings) for academic studies.  Presently, those in formation are scheduled to be ordained in the year 2018.  Later in 2017, the diocese will begin a process of seeking those who may be interested in pursuing the diaconate in the next class.  When we are ready for informational meetings we will advertise in The Messenger and in parish bulletins.

Who Should Consider Applying to the Formation Program?

  • Those who already have the heart of a deacon, who have passion for Christ-like charity, who exhibit diaconal gifts in everyday life. They are assisted in their continuing development as diaconal persons through formation. A program cannot make a deacon, but it can offer skills and art and tools to one who has the gifts in his heart.
  • Those who demonstrate a long history of concrete service to the community’s poor and needy and/or to the underlying structural causes of need in society.
  • Those who have an active centered prayer life.
  • Those whom the parish community recognizes as having a call to church leadership.
  • Those who can benefit from spiritual direction.
  • Those who have clearly demonstrated the ability to lead and supervise others in the context of their current ministries within the parish or community as a whole.
  • Those who have the knack of calling forth others into ministry.
  • Those who work collaboratively with their pastor as well as their fellow parishioners.
  • Those who have experienced this call both within their own lives and from their parish.
  • Those whose lives of witness to holiness give rise to a good reputation in the community.
  • Those for whom the timing is right in their own life and the lives of their family.
  • Those who possess no personal agenda with the Church or its present leadership.
  • Those who possess openness to grow and change in their attitudes and personal lives.
  • Those who seek to help others by their example and lifestyle modeled in Christ the Servant.
  • Those who are not inhibited by being a public person, who are comfortable speaking, teaching and preaching in a public forum.



Director of Deacon Formation

Very Reverend Eugene H. Wojcik, V.F.
Catholic Pastoral Center, Building 2
2620 Lebanon Avenue
Belleville, IL 62221
Parish phone: 618-826-2444
Fax: 618-235-7416

Associate Director of Deacon Formation

Mrs. Patricia (Patti) Warner
Catholic Pastoral Center, Building 2
2620 Lebanon Avenue
Belleville IL  62221
Fax:  618-235-7416

Coordinator of Deacons

Deacon Thomas J. Helfrich
Catholic Pastoral Center, Building 2
2620 Lebanon Avenue
Belleville IL  62221
Fax:  618-235-7416 

For more information see Permanent Diaconate page