Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Diaconate Dropout

I've been holding something back from many people for the last several weeks.   Very few people knew about it but I'm finally throwing it out there----I'm a diaconate drop-out.   Yes, I've discerned that the diaconate isn't for me--at least not at this point in my life. 

I'd been contemplating the diaconate for over two years.  For the longest time I seemed like something I could be really good at--and I do think I would be a good deacon.  

But every since the first get together dinner back in February I have had uneasy feelings about it.  I had decided to stick it out throught the aspirancy because I didn't want to be running away from God. And then some sort of diaconate function would come up.  I would get incredibly uneasy.  I wanted to be ANYWHERE but there.  I think if I'm doing something that I am passionate about and that would be life changing like ordination I should be excited about it.  I was anything but excited about it.

It seemed to have turned my faith into a job or a chore.  I want to pray because I want (or need) to pray, not because I'm directed to.  I want to volunteer how I want to volunteer.  I want to worship when and where I want to worship not where someone else tells me.  I want to dress how I want to not the way someone else tells me.  I want to blog how I want without the fear of being second guessed.   I realize that doesn't say a lot about my obedience but it's how I feel.  
Interestingly enough, I made my decision at my Cursillo weekend back in September.  I realized that the formation process just doesn't fit into my life right now.  The week-end prior to my Cursillo, I had to be up for over 24 hours for a formation event.  Then, I had to move days off for this Cursillo weekend  (that I was doing as a retreat for the diaconate) and ended up missing a ton of time with my family and was just overworked.  I just couldn't do that for four years.
When I would think of the diaconate I would be stressed.  When I would imagine myself out of the diaconate I would be at peace.  I think that was Gods way of telling me that it isn't my calling.  I don't think its the devils doing.  

Interestingly enough, my Cursillio weekend had another impact on my discernment.  I was able to see and experience these incredible Holy lay people.  I realized that there are other ways that I can win souls for God.  I don't have to be ordained to further my spiritual journey or to become a saint myself.  I have a passion for youth ministry.  I have touched many people with my blog. I don't need the diaconate to become more holy.  There are pleanty of pious lay people.

I will say that I'm glad I went through the process.   I met plenty of great people.  It is a great aspirant class.  The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is very fortunate.   I would definately encourage anyone who feels that ping from God to check it out and discern if it's for them or not. 

I won't say that the diaconate is totally out of the picture.  God may have planted the seed in my head for a reason but right now just isn't the time for me.  Maybe in five years.  Maybe in ten years.  My family will all be older.  I may be in a position where I have a Monday-Friday position on the police department.  Who knows.   I do think I would be a really good deacon.  Now is just not the time.  


  1. Hmmm.....I am in the process of going through the formal period of inquiry for the permanent diaconate in my diocese. My wife and I had a meeting last night for it. It was a very emotional meeting for me. I'm still feeling those emotions, particularly after reading your post. I don't have peace with going forward with the discernment process of the diaconate, but, at the same time, I don't have peace with not going forward. I'm hearing lots of conflicting voices.

  2. Your description of your discernment process is beautiful. I think you are cutting yourself short by calling yourself a 'drop-out' - but somehow I suspect you are doing it with a smirk on your face.

    That said, you are right, you can do all the things you listed without being a Deacon. And I truly agree that if it was where God was calling you, you would have felt more at peace with the whole process.

    Certainly we all have 'life' thrown at us in our spiritual journey, but if it doesn't sit well with our souls, then something isn't right.

    Prayers for you friend.

  3. I'm sure I don't have to tell you this, but just in case it helps to hear it, God wants us to do what is right, not what is expected. (I was getting some pressure myself awhile back to join the diaconate and finally decided against it for the next decade or so while my child with Asperger's grows up.) I'm confident if the Holy Spirit leads you into the diaconate, it will be at the right time and the Church will be better for it.

    By the way, really like the blog :)

  4. Thanks for your honesty and your ability to express the fact that you are "called" and it is okay for all of us to take the necessary time needed to discern that call!!

  5. Good for you for giving it a shot. Everything happens for a reason and in a certain time.

  6. Thanks all for your kind words. Tim, that's the feelings I had and yeah---I could have stuck it out for several more years and continued to discern it out (our process is like 4 1/2 years)but it was really making life difficult for me (having to move work days because I work on weekends had an impact)
    I'm sure you'll make the right decision and what God wants for you.

  7. DECOLORES! I am the Spiritual Director for our Archdiocese's Cursillo Movement. I am glad that you are at peace with your discernment. Thank you for giving it a try. Interestingly enough, my Cursillo had the opposite effect on me. At my Cursillo, I fell in love with God (when I was growing up I was afraid of God). The relationship that I developed with the Lord, led me offer my life to Him. I tried using the "I can be a holy layman" argument with God, but in my case it did not work. Of course, I was not married with kids, either. The one thing that did disturb about your post as when you wrote "I want to pray because I want (or need) to pray, not because I'm directed to. I want to volunteer how I want to volunteer. I want to worship when and where I want to worship not where someone else tells me. I want to dress how I want to not the way someone else tells me. " I would suggest that you pray about all these "I wants." I think it was Matthew Kelly who said that we often ask our children the wrong question. We ask them "what they want to be when they grow up?", rather than "what does God want them to be when they grow up?" There is nothing wrong with knowing what 'I want" as long as it is what "God wants."

  8. I know this is an old post, but maybe this will make you feel even better about your decision: