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Planning Ahead

Those considering the Diaconate should first reflect on their qualities and qualifications, and then decide whether they are suited to serve.

Para leer los criterios de admisión en español presione aquí...

Are you called to be a deacon?

The process of discernment for the Diaconate begins long before any formal contact with the program in the Office for Diaconate Formation. Those considering the Diaconate first should reflect on their qualifications, and decide wether they are suited to serve. 

Class 2018-1
We recommend to those exploring the diaconate:
  • Make discernment of diaconate part of your daily prayer.
  • Discuss this with your spouse and/or significant people in your life.
  • Discuss this with your pastor and parish staff.
  • Make contact with a deacon or deacon couple to hear their story and share yours.
  • Read about the theology of diaconate, ministry and life of deacons. 
  • Use the admissions criteria as a guideline for your discernment, then contact the Director of Formation to discuss your interest and determine your readiness to apply. 


How to begin a formal inquiry
  1. Contact: Deacon Dale Nees, Director – Diaconate Formation
    (414) 758-2212 or

  2. Contact: Mr. Manuel Maldonado-Villalobos, Associate Director 
    Para información en Español and English
    (414) 758-2207

  3. And/or visit us at Archdiocese of Milwaukee Offices at the Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center
    3501 S. Lake Dr. St. Francis, WI 53235 (directions)

  4. Or please fill out this form and we will contact you. 

How to begin application for diaconal formation
  1. Attend a regional Inquiry for Discernment program that are held during Fall, Winter and Spring. These inquiry sessions are being held regionally. 

  2. Obtain the required endorsement from your parish Pastor.

  3. Following the endorsement of your parish pastor, application materials will be forwarded to those applicants whose preliminary information is consistent with the admission criteria and a vocational calling to the diaconate.

  4. The Admission and Selection process seeks to determine both the suitability and the readiness of applicants to enter the initial path of diaconal ministry formation – ASPIRANCY    

  5. Para el documento de Aspirantado en español presione aquí...

  6. Applicants will be required to submit: materials on personal data (family information including an endorsement from the spouse if applicable, military service, photograph, autobiography, employment; educational, sacramental history, parish and community ministerial involvement, prior formational experience, and personal references); to testing (medical, psychological, theological knowledge); to interviews (Director of Formation, a Deacon-couple, and the Committee of Admission & Scrutiny); to inventories (faith and marital); a personal handwritten statement requesting admission into aspirant formation, indicating your motivation for seeking ordination to the diaconate, your willingness to pledge your service to the diocesan Church and to criminal and credit background checks, all of which collectively, must give evidence that the criteria for admissions are present and an authentic vocational calling to the diaconate appears to be present.


Diaconate Formation

Mary Mother of the Church Pastoral Center
3501 South Lake Drive
PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912

Deacon Dale T. Nees

Manuel Maldonado-Villalobos
Associate Director

(También información en español)

Charmaine Pfeifer
Administrative Assistant

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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912

Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408