Deacon's Ministries - Vocations 2015 Initiative
A renewed initiative is being undertaken by Bishop LeBlanc in 2017 within the Transformational Catholic Church. Bishop LeBlanc is begnning to bring forth his vision of ministry to the faithful who see the sacraments of the Catholic tradition.
While priests celebrating the eucharist is still a desired goal, Bishop LeBlanc (and many authcephalous bishops - recognize that parishes within the independent movement remain rather small - modeling home churches - most likely in a manner similar to the beginnings of Christianity) sees valid ministries in performing the sacrament of marriage, as well as officiating at funerals (as most occur in funeral homes) as well as providing some form of pastoral care [and yes even the occasional baptism]. Each of these spiritual and religious works does not require a priest; thus he is launching Deacon's Ministries.
The goal of this vocational initiative is to recruit deacon candidates from around the United States who truly feel a vocational call to minister to the people of God through these pastoral acts. If a candidate desires, they can continue additonal training to be ordained a priest within the Transformational Catholic Church.
There is a formal application process. Please email Bishop LeBlanc to learn of the application process.
Requirements for ordination as a deacon:
If a candidate has completed a novitiate year within a monastic community, with documentation of the educational experienced associated with such training (i.e. for Bishop LeBlanc this included forty weeks of training, Monday through Friday, for three hours each day) they will immediately be considered for ordination as a deacon based on this training. They simply need to meet the other application and denominational criteria. These cadidates willl also be considered for ordination to the priesthood, provided they undertake an agreed upon program of academic study.
If an individual has not completed a noviate year, nor other formal seminary training, they will be required to complete a foundational training program, at their own expense [but presently free of charge], at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and their Dimensions of Faith certificate program [www.gordonconwell.edu/online]. This program was chosen becuase of its affiliation with a traditional, and accredited seminary, and is a program provided in a cost effective manner.Candidates will be required to complete the entire certificate. Since the program and training comes from a protestant tradition, addtional readings and work will be required from a Catholic theological and scriptural tradition.
In addition to the training program offered by Gordon Cronwell Theological Seminary and the Catholic theological and scriptual training, specific training will be required in the sacraments of the Catholic tradition, and in particular marriage, as well as officiating at funerals.
Upon ordination as a deacon, faculties, that is ecclesial permission, to perform the sacraments of marriage and baptism, as well as the authority to officiate at funerals will be granted for one year. Thereafter, faculties will be given yearly upon the reaffirmation process within the denomination.
If candidates wish to engage in additional pastoral ministries, additional training will be required.