Share this story


Diaconate Formation Program enters aspirancy phase

On Jan. 7, the 18 men who have been accepted into the aspirancy phase of the Permanent Diaconate Formation program for the Diocese of Birmingham had their first aspirancy program meeting at St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman. These men, and their wives, have completed the inquiry phase of the formation program, submitted complete applications, and completed personal interviews. They were accepted into the program by Bishop Raica in December of 2022.

These men now embark on a two-year aspirancy program where they will continue their formation in the personal, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral dimensions of the permanent diaconate. This class of men willing to step forward to formally start their formation journey represents many parts of the diocese. Please keep these men, their wives and families, and the entire formation team in your daily prayers as they continue on their journey to potential ordination as a permanent deacon in service to Jesus Christ and His Church in the Diocese of Birmingham. The aspirancy classes, which will continue to take place at St. Bernard Abbey, will continue through December of 2024.

The men in the aspirancy program are: Timothy Battocletti, St. France University Parish; Martin Beasley, Cathedral of St. Paul; Todd Bond, Our Lady of the Valley; John Durant, Holy Spirit in Huntsville; Maxwell Elebash, Holy Spirit in Tuscaloosa; Colin Fach, St. Theresa’s; Cliff Farabee, St. James; Gregory Halen, St. Michael the Archangel in St. Florian; Steven Leisure, St. Robert Bellarmine; Joseph Mokulis, St. Joseph in Florence; Abraham Niedzwiecki, St. Paul’s in Athens; Vick Peltier, Good Shepherd; Jose Santiago, Prince of Peace; Jason Shaw, Our Lady of the Valley in Birmingham; Harry Stickley, Our Lady of the Valley; John Summers, St. William; David Williams, St. John the Baptist in Madison; and Austin Wimberly, Our Lady of Sorrows.