Called to Serve
By ordination Permanent Deacon’s are the Church’s sacramental sign of Christ the Servant. A servant minister in a servant-Church. Like Jesus, the Church is a servant. Servants can of course be despised, but it is the path Christ chooses. He sets the example and calls us to follow.
Through preaching, teaching and service deacons encourage and empower others. Advancing the Church’s engagement with the world as heralds of the liberating power of the Gospel. Deacons assist our Priests at Mass, proclaim the Gospel, can preach the homily, serve as ordinary ministers of the Eucharist, baptise, witness marriages, preside at funerals and may lead the Liturgy of Hours, Eucharistic Adoration, and Benediction. Beyond these liturgical functions our Diocesan Deacons serve in hospitals, prisons, airports, care homes and hospices, in social justice settings or in Church-related administrative roles. Deacons are not paid but serve on a voluntary basis. Fr Michael Umameh is the Diocesan Director of Deacons, responsible for the diaconal community.
Any man considering a vocation as a Permanent Deacon needs the support of their parish priest, to be actively engaged in the life of their own parish, and already be involved in works of service, exercising some leadership role within their community. A married man looking to become a deacon must be able to demonstrate a stable marriage and family life.
After initial enquiries aspirants for the permanent diaconate attend a selection conference and then spend a year in reflection, discernment, and prayer, while learning more about this ministry. Candidates then commence three years of formal formation and study in a shared programme with the other northern Diocese. Candidates must have a desire for ministry, have the necessary stability to accept this life-long and public commitment, and the capacity for service. Enquiries to join the Permanent Diaconate Formation Programme are welcome from men between 35 years and 55 years of age. Those who are married must have the support of their wife and family.
Those interested should speak first to their parish priest, and then contact Deacon Tony Strike.
Email: [email protected]