Permanent Deacon Candidates Receive Academic Formation at Sacred Heart

Each year in October, Archbishop Vigneron or one of our auxiliary bishops ordains permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Detroit.  Deacons David Drysdale, John Fitzmaurice, Tom Leonard, and Philip McCown were ordained in October 2015 and are currently serving in the parishes where they have been assigned: St. Joseph Parish-Trenton, St. Mary Parish-St. Clair, St. Kateri Tekakwitha-Dearborn, and St. Mark-Warren respectively.

Like all permanent deacons in the archdiocese, these men completed a formation program encompassing the intellectual, human, spiritual, and pastoral areas—what are known in the Catholic Church as the four “pillars” of formation.

Their intellectual, or academic, formation was completed at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.  Following the guidelines in the United States Conference of Catholics Bishops’ (USCCB) document, “National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States,” men preparing for permanent diaconate ordination are required to study several areas related to Catholic theology and ministry.

Sacred Heart offers two alternative academic paths for men preparing for permanent diaconate ordination.  The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) is a graduate degree with a specially tailored curriculum to comply with the USCCB academic requirements.  As an alternative, men may pursue an undergraduate program comprised of the Basic Diploma and Intermediate Diploma in Diaconal Studies in order to fulfill their intellectual formation requirements.

If you think the Lord may be calling you to the Permanent Diaconate, contact the Office of Clergy and Consecrated Life in the Archdiocese of Detroit and also contact our Admissions Office at 313-883-8696 or