Looking ahead to the third year of the diaconate formation program, Jesuits from Loyola Marymount University, Santa Clara University and the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley will be joining the seminary faculty of St. John's in teaching the classes. "This program of diaconate study was formulated by the Jesuits and Bishop Curry," Mills explains, "and it will be great to have their presence here."
Mills says he and others are encouraged by the large numbers of men coming forward to become deacons, giving greater exposure to the ministry of the diaconate. "We need to develop the concept of what the diaconate does: the corporal works of mercy," he says.
The current group in formation is looking toward ordination in the spring of 2011. Mills says the policy in the Santa Barbara Region has been to finish one program before starting a new group, and applications will again be accepted in early 2011.