Donate Now

“A Deacon, helps in a more dedicated way than an interested lay person.”

“A Deacon, helps in a more dedicated way than an interested lay person.”

JIM O’NEILL,

Deacon Candidate

“A Deacon, helps in a more dedicated way than an interested lay person.”

“What is it that you think a Deacon does?” When Jim O’Neill, a parishioner at St. Christopher’s Parish in Somerton answered that question asked by his pastor, Monsignor Joseph Garvin, he took a very important step toward his life in ministry. His answer was simple, insightful and encouraging to Monsignor Garvin. “A Deacon,” Jim answered, “helps in a more dedicated way than an interested lay person.”

Just over a year since ordination, Deacon Jim now sees what an understatement that was. While he treasures his time on Sundays assisting at Mass and putting his homiletics training to good use, work out-of-the spotlight has become a favorite part of Jim’s vocation as a Deacon. It includes helping people in all sorts of ways from praying with them for special intentions, to reaching out to new families, to recruiting and organizing parishioners who have special, valuable skills that can help the parish.

These are all things for which Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary has prepared Deacon Jim well. Every Diaconate candidate goes through a rigorous six-year program, which includes all the theology, biblical exegesis, church history and homiletics that you would expect. But more than that, it is a program focused on the practical. Diaconate candidates are being prepared to serve us, the people. Their Seminary instructors go out of their way to prepare candidates to be servants of those most in need.

Twenty other men were trained and ordained with Deacon Jim. And today they are serving us across the Archdiocese. It is easy to think that the Seminary will always be there to train them and to train future priests. But we can’t take that for granted. It is in the interest of each of us to support the Seminary, so that people like Deacon Jim O’Neill can answer tfoomr orrow his call and “help in a more dedicated way than an interested lay person.”

By making a donation to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary you are ensuring that you leave a lasting legacy.

Did You Know...

  • Permanent deacons perform a vital ministry in parishes, schools, hospitals, prisons, and many other areas of service to the region.
  • After the Aspirancy Year, or year of intense discernment, applicants go through five years of Candidacy.- During their candidacy, students study theology as well as the four areas of formation related to the diaconate lifestyle: apostolic, spiritual, intellectual, and human.
  • Candidates attend classes, workshops, and days of recollection, and begin taking a more active role in parish and Archdiocesan ministry.
  • Currently, there are close to 70 men in formation for the Diaconate and approximately 200 ordained Deacons in service to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.