Thoughts in Solitude - Thomas Merton

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” † † †
-Thoughts in Solitude
© Abbey of Gethsemani
"Your way of acting should be different from the world's way"...Rule of St. Benedict.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Formation Program Update


Date: April 30, 2008

To: Men in Diaconate Formation

From: Deacon Dennis Dorner

RE: Update and Summer Retreat Information


Since meeting with you on April 12, 2008, much has been happening and I wanted to update you on some of the things that are in the works.

All of the invited members of the new Diaconate Advisory Board have agreed to serve. This group is largely composed of the members of the Self Study Committee that has been working on implementation of the new Directory since last fall. We will be meeting in mid to late May for the first time. At that meeting, new standing committees on candidate selection, evaluation and scrutinies, and curriculum will be created.

There will be some organizational changes with Deacon Loris’ departure. All administrative functions for both the Formation Program and Life in Ministry (post ordination) will come under the Office of the Permanent Diaconate. As Director of the Permanent Diaconate, I will be working with a team that will include the Associate Director of Formation and the Spiritual Director for Formation. We expect to post for the Associate Formation Directors position in late May following the first meeting of the Advisory Board. Effective July 1 and until the new Associate Director is named, feel free to contact me for any questions regarding the Formation Program.

Many of you have asked about anticipated changes in the program for the fall. Classes that are full year classes will likely continue through the end of the year. There may be some minor modifications and we will communicate those to you as soon as they are formulated.

As I mentioned, the Archbishop will be appointing a new Spiritual Director for the Formation Program. It is important that you all are given an opportunity to get to know the new director. With this in mind, we have decided to postpone the summer retreat until sometime in the fall. We will let you know the date and location in the next couple of weeks. While we certainly appreciate the hospitality extended to us by St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, we will likely be relocating in order to help keep the cost of travel to a minimum.

If you are not already familiar with the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States, I encourage you to read the document. It can be read on line or downloaded at This document is the driving force behind the review and update that we are implementing in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. We are actually the first diocese in the country to do a complete review based on the Directory.

Please know that you are in my prayers and I ask that you keep all of us that are involved in this renewal process in prayer as well.

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