Deacons of the Diocese of Albany
Deacons: Candidate

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power:  proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.  For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.  But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.

This page is created for the Deacon Candidate (and his wife if married).  It is also a useful resource for those who are discerning a call to the Diaconate as it contains information (especially in the Candidate Handbook) about the three year Candidate Formation process.

Candidate Handbook

The Candidate Handbook, approved by the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, is intended to help the Candidate and his family during the three-year Candidate Path of Diaconate Formation.  All Candidates are provided with a copy of this handbook upon acceptance into Candidacy.  It is also made available on-line for ready reference as needed.

Covenant Between Candidates & Formators
Refer to Section 1 of the Candidate Handbook.
A covenant form should be custom prepared by the Formators for each first year Candidate prior to their first (September) Formation Meeting and signed by both the first year Candidate and the Candidate Formators. This covenant remains in effect throughout Candidacy. The first, second and third year Candidates and their Formators should then bring the signed covenant to every Formation Meeting.

Annual Syllabus 
All of the monthly formation topics that will be covered during the Candidate Year may be found in the Syllabus.  This page is updated whenever the syllabus is changed during the year.

Homiletics Syllabus
Training in peaching skills follows a thee year cycle, and where ever possible, the syllabus for training in Liturgy instruction.  The Homeletics Syllabus is available on-line and should be checked frequently during the formation year.

Liturgy Formation Syllabus
Training in Liturgical skills follows a three year cycle, and where ever possible, the syllabus for Homiletics instruction. The Liturgy Formation Syllabus is available on-line and should be checked frequently during the formation 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 Candidate Formation
The forms and reports that are used during the Candidacy by both the Candidate and Candidate Formators may be found in MS Word format in the forms and reports link.

Practicum - On-the-job Training Experience
Starting at the end of the Candidate’s first year, each Candidate is provided with three intensive Practicum experiences: Hospital Ministry(June, July & August usually at the start of the 2nd year); Service with Catholic Charities (June, July & August usually at the start of the 3rd year); and, Parish Ministry (October thru the second Sunday of Easter of the 3rd year).
Introduction to the Practicum by Deacon Frank Berning.
Packets for each experience may be obtained using the following links:
Packet A - Hospital Ministry     Verbatim Template
Packet B - Service with Catholic Charities
Packet C - Parish Ministry

Third Year Candidate Page
This Third Year Candidate Page contains important information for third year candidates and should be reviewed in November of the third year of Candidacy with your Formators.  It contains important information about the final forms and commitments that must be made prior to ordination.

Formator’s Contact Information  - Contact information for Formators is confidential.  If you are a Candidate and need the contact information, 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.

Modern Catholic Dictionary