Diaconate candidates celebrate graduate school completion

May 30, 2023 at 4:26 p.m.
Diaconate candidates celebrate graduate school completion
Diaconate candidates celebrate graduate school completion

By EmmaLee Italia | Contributing Editor

After completing four years of graduate level courses in diaconal studies, diaconate candidates of the Diocese of Trenton graduated May 17 from the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology in Seton Hall University, South Orange.

This marks the first graduating class of the Diocese of Trenton’s diaconate program from Seton Hall, since the Diocese established a partnership with the South Orange University. 

Each earning a master’s degree in theology, the 11 men attended a Mass celebrated by Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney, Diocese of Paterson, in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark, followed by the conferral of degrees upon all graduate students of the School of Theology.

Seven of the  diaconal graduates were designated members of the Theta Alpha Kappa Honor Society; two of those men, Stuart Altschuler and Joseph Stillo, received the Pope Francis Medal for Academic Excellence (awarded to permanent diaconate students for outstanding achievement in Graduate Theological Studies.)

Installed to the ministry of Acolyte in December by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., the diaconate candidates have been attending classes taught by Seton Hall professors and priests of the Diocese. The classes were held in the diocesan Chancery, Lawrenceville, twice a week, and were held online for a year-and-a-half during the pandemic. They will complete one more year of diocesan practicum in preparation for their ordination as deacons in spring 2024.

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After completing four years of graduate level courses in diaconal studies, diaconate candidates of the Diocese of Trenton graduated May 17 from the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology in Seton Hall University, South Orange.

This marks the first graduating class of the Diocese of Trenton’s diaconate program from Seton Hall, since the Diocese established a partnership with the South Orange University. 

Each earning a master’s degree in theology, the 11 men attended a Mass celebrated by Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney, Diocese of Paterson, in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark, followed by the conferral of degrees upon all graduate students of the School of Theology.

Seven of the  diaconal graduates were designated members of the Theta Alpha Kappa Honor Society; two of those men, Stuart Altschuler and Joseph Stillo, received the Pope Francis Medal for Academic Excellence (awarded to permanent diaconate students for outstanding achievement in Graduate Theological Studies.)

Installed to the ministry of Acolyte in December by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., the diaconate candidates have been attending classes taught by Seton Hall professors and priests of the Diocese. The classes were held in the diocesan Chancery, Lawrenceville, twice a week, and were held online for a year-and-a-half during the pandemic. They will complete one more year of diocesan practicum in preparation for their ordination as deacons in spring 2024.

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever.  Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE).  Thank you for your support.

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