Deacons of the Diocese of Albany
Deacons: Aspirant

You shall seek the Lord, your God; and you shall indeed find him when you search for him with your whole heart and your whole soul.

ASPIRE - verb (used without object), -pired, -piring.
to long, aim, or seek ambitiously; be eagerly desirous, especially for something great or of high value (usually followed by to, after, or an infinitive): to aspire after literary immortality; to aspire to be a doctor.  (

Aspirant Handbook 
The Aspirant Handbook, approved by the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, is intended to help the Aspirant and his family during the Aspirant Year.  All Aspirants are provided with a copy of this handbook upon acceptance into Aspirancy.  It is also made available on-line for ready reference as needed.  Those pursuing a possible call to the Diaconate are encouraged to review the Aspirancy Handbook and also the Candidate Handbook to help discern the requirements of these two formation paths.

Covenant between Aspirants and Formators
Refer to the Aspirant Handbook:
As soon as an Applicant is accepted into Aspirancy in June, a meeting will be scheduled so that the new Aspirants can receive information about the Aspirant Path, the schedule of meetings, and their summer assignments. At this meeting, they will enter into a Covenant agreement with their Formators. A copy of the signed Covenant should be brought to the monthly formation meetings.

Annual Syllabus 
All of the material that will be covered during the Aspirant Year may be found in the Annual Syllabus.  This page is updated whenever the syllabus is changed during the year.

Four Year Schedule 
All of the important dates for both the Aspirant and Candidate meetings and other events may be found on the Four Year Schedule.   It is updated as changes are made. The schedule is viewed best as a printed page.

Forms Used During the Aspirancy Period
The forms and reports that are used during the Aspirancy Period by both the Aspirant and Aspirant Formators may be found in MS Word format in the forms and report link.

Formator’s Contact Information 
Contact information for Formators is confidential and is available to Aspirants and Candidates for the Diaconate only.  If you are an Aspirant or Candidate and need the list, send an e-mail to

Diaconate Board Members
The names of the members of the Diaconate Board are available on-line.

Contact Us:
Deacon Frank Berning, D.Min. - Director of Pastoral Planning & Director of Initial Diaconate Formation
Phone: (518) 453-6661 - Pastoral Planning Administrative Assistant.
Fax: (518) 453-6795

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) - An outstanding site that contains informaitonuseful for Aspirants and Candidates including the on-line New American Bible and information about the Diaconate on the “Clergy” link.

National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States (DMLPD) is available on line from the USCCB. 

iBrievary - An on-line web site for the Liturgy of the Hours.  This site also allows updated to iPhones and iPads.

The Ignatian Spiritual Exercises

Modern Catholic Dictionary

Divine Office - another site for an on-line breviary and other features useful for those in Formation for the Diaconate and those already ordained.