Deacon Formation Program

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Is God Calling You?

The Archdiocese of Seattle has opened the inquiry year for the permanent diaconate for Catholic men generally aged 35 to 56* interested in learning more about being a deacon.
*Pastors may petition for an exception

If you feel God is calling you to become a permanent deacon, read below to learn about the process and how to be considered a candidate for the Permanent Diaconate.

Please note: all inquiry sessions, materials, application, and formation is in English.

Qualities we look for:

 Those who aspire to be candidates for the diaconate should exhibit certain characteristics that demonstrate a readiness for formation:

  • A man of prayer, who demonstrates this quality in his daily life, and in his full and active participation in the liturgy
  • A Catholic who is fully initiated and in good standing with the Catholic Church
  • Commitment to serving the needs of the Church, especially the poor and vulnerable
  • A lifetime pattern of spiritual, pastoral, human and intellectual growth
  • Solid moral character demonstrating the human virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance
  • Humility, good listening skills and openness to conversion
  • Empathy, constancy, sincerity, truthfulness, patience enabling good relationships with others
  • Preparedness to understand, present and promote the teachings of the Church


Click here to read what Pope Francis expects of deacons today, during his address to the deacons of Rome on June 19, 2021.

Phase 1: INQUIRY

  1. Explore a possible call to the permanent diaconate through seeking information and praying with your spouse. Keep talking about it and praying with your wife. Spouses are integral to the discernment and her “yes” is key to your “yes”. Review and contemplate the resources & guidance in this link, with a particular focus on chapters 1 & 4, and take a look at our diaconate page which contains good videos and an introduction to some of our deacons and spouses.
  2. Speak with your pastor. Stay in touch with your pastoral leaders and consider exploring some relevant ministries, especially with the poor and marginalized. Pastors are responsible for presenting inquirers to archdiocesan leaders for diaconal formation through their endorsement.
  3. Attend a regional information session. These information sessions will be presented by Bishop Frank Schuster throughout the archdiocese beginning in October. *Please see below for locations, dates, and times. *more sessions may be added later.
  4. When you are ready to discern further, submit a REQUEST FOR ENDORSEMENT FORM (below) to be considered for placement into an inquiry group. These group sessions will be facilitated by deacons and held monthly throughout the archdiocese as soon as in November 2022.

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October 8, 2022 at 11:00am
St. Vincent de Paul, Federal Way
More information

November 5, 2022 at 11:00am
St. Louise, Bellevue
More information

November 12, 2022 at 11:00am
St. Mary Magdalen, Everett
More information

November 19, 2022 at 11:00 am
St. Charles Borromeo, Tacoma
More information

December 3, 2022 at 11:00am
St. Michael, Olympia
More information

December 10, 2022 at 11:00am
Sacred Heart, Bellingham
More information

January 14, 2023 at 11:00am
St. John of the Woods, Tacoma
More information

January 21, 2023 at 11:00am
St. Joseph, Vancouver
More information

The Inquiry phase concludes in August of 2023.


 Upon consideration, if you are invited to apply to the formation program applications will be available beginning August 10, 2023. Aspirants will be asked to submit a full application packet which will be reviewed for readiness for the Aspirant Path in Formation.


Your full application packet will be reviewed and final recommendations will be made to Archbishop Etienne March 2024, followed by final decisions and welcome letters. August 2024 begins the first formation weekend. Discernment extends throughout the entire aspirant formation process allowing for personal observations, dialogue, interviews, and additional assessments of each aspirant.


Please contact Lorrie Conway, Director of Clergy Formation at

“Deacons share in Christ’s mission and grace in a special way. The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them with an imprint (‘character’) which cannot be removed and which configures them to Christ, who made himself the ‘deacon’ or servant of all. Among other tasks, it is the task of deacons to assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, above all the Eucharist, in the distribution of Holy Communion, in assisting at and blessing marriages, in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching, in presiding over funerals, and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity.”

~ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1570