A Ministry of Service
Permanent Diaconate Program
Archdiocese of Kingston
The Permanent Deacon in the Archdiocese of KingstonThe diaconate was established at the time of the apostles and lived in the early Church as an ordained ministry at the service of the people of God under the direction of the Bishop.
In response to current needs and trends, the II Vatican Council recognized and re-asserted the integral nature and importance of the deacon=s role in the modern Church. Following suggestions of II Vatican Council, the Bishops of Canada re-activated the Permanent Diaconate in 1969. The Permanent Diaconate of the Archdiocese of Kingston was inaugurated in 1991.
FormationThe diocesan diaconal program of Spiritual, Academic, Liturgical and Pastoral Formation takes place in Kingston, one weekend each month over at least a five year period. After the first year, the weekends are supported by weekly study sessions under the guidance of an appointed mentor.
The first year is a period of discernment wherein the applicant and the formation team have the opportunity to discover through prayerful consideration whether the aspirant is suited for diaconal ministry.
The three-year period of formation which follows is a more formal process in which the candidate continues to participate in both spiritual and academic formation as well as ministerial preparation. During these three academic years the weekend program is supported by weekly study sessions under the guidance of an appointed mentor. In addition to this formal intellectual and spiritual formation, candidates are expected to continue their reading, discernment and service in areas of social concern over the summer months.
At the end of the fourth year, upon fulfillment of all program requirements, recommendation of the Formation Committee and the Director of the Formation Program, and with the Archbishop’s approval, the candidates are ordained to the Order of Deacon.
The formation program does not lead to an academic degree. Ordination by the Bishop certifies that an individual is called by God for the ministry of service and worship.
Wife of the Deacon
Since in most cases the diaconal vocation exists within the context of a family, the wives of candidates are expected to share this experience by participating in the formation process. Although this involvement does not lead to ordination, their commitment to the formation program and their work with their husbands or in their own ministries results in their becoming an integral part of the Diaconate Community.
What Does a Deacon Do?The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church speaks of three areas of diaconal service: Ministry of Charity, Ministry of the Word, and Ministry of Liturgy.
Ministry of Charity: The deacon is ordained to be a witness to the Gospel through a life of service. A deacon serves through his person-to-person encounters: he ministers to the poor, the aged, the sick, prisoners. The deacon works with youth and young adults in various parish and/or community programs.
Ministry to the Word: The deacon proclaims the Gospel and preaches at liturgical gatherings; teaches in sacramental preparation programs, i.e. baptism, marriage, RCIA.
Ministry of Liturgy: The deacon assists at the Eucharistic Celebration, administers baptism, witnesses marriages, officiates at wakes and funerals, administers some sacramentals, presides at prayer services, i.e. communion services and benediction.
The Acts of the Apostles speak to us about deacons in action B providing material assistance and service; preaching and baptizing.
Rooted in the belief that all Christians are called to ministry through baptism, the diaconate is a confirmation of the diaconal gifts for the ministry of service that characterizes the role of the deacon. As identified and expressed in New Testament writing, the diaconate is an ordained ministry of service under the direction of the bishop.
After ordination the deacon is assigned by the Bishop and enters into a formal agreement with the community he as been assigned to serve.
How Will I Know If I Am Called to Be a Deacon?
There is no simple answer to this question. However, we believe that God=s will can be discovered by the person of faith through personal prayer, competent spiritual direction and recognition that the Church has the obligation to discern if such a vocation is truly present. Certain personal, social and spiritual qualities are required for ordained ministry. These are generally of two kinds: those that pattern the candidate in the likeness of Christ, and those required to meet the special needs of the local Church at a particular time and place. Anyone contemplating a vocation to the permanent diaconate should be actively involved in ministry in his local community and/or parish. A candidate=s desire to be a deacon is never sufficient in itself. He must, in addition, wait on the prayerful, enlightened decision of the Church.
The InvitationAn invitation to men of the Archdiocese to consider the diaconal vocation of Sacred Orders is extended to those who have a deep personal faith commitment, are involved in a ministry of service and have some sense of being called to this particular vocation.
It is expected that potential candidates will discuss their interest in the diaconal formation process with their parish priest as the first stage of the invitation to the permanent diaconate.
Following this, contact with the Office of the Permanent Diaconate may be made and appointments arranged to discuss further the subject of vocation and formation.
Men seeking application into the Diaconate Program come with an understanding that the diaconte is a call to a life of service.
Criteria for Entry into the Permanent Diaconate Program
The deacon emerges out of the universal diakonia to stand in the midst of the community as one who makes present in his person and deeds the servant character of Christ and the Church. Through sacramental ordination the deacon becomes a public sign to the world that the Church is authentically servant. The deacon is the animator and promoter of the common service of the Church.
Candidates are to be:
- baptized Catholics for at least two years;
- 35 years of age at the time of ordination if married; married for at least two years;
- 25 years of age at the time of ordination if single;
- well accepted in the parish community;
- in good health, physically, mentally and emotionally;
- economically stable and self-sufficient.
Candidates must have:
- letters of recommendation from their parish priest and another priest;
- demonstrated evidence of a stable marriage;
- at least two years post-secondary education or the equivalent;
- spousal approval and support of their intention to enter the diaconate formation program;
- participated in a ministry of service within the parish community for at least 2 years;
- sufficient time for diaconate formation and ministry;
- the capacity for growth and continued education;
- an eagerness for prayer and acceptance of spiritual formation;
- an openness to the awareness of contemporary theology and developments in ministry, and possess the capacity for training in ministry.
- are limited to men;
- must be capable of making a permanent commitment of time and talent;
- must observe celibacy if single and, if married, after the death of their spouse;
- must submit certificates of baptism, confirmation and marriage, if applicable;
- must reside in the Archdiocese of Kingston.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION
SAFE ENVIRONMENT POLICY
OFFICE OF THE PERMANENT DIACONATE
390 PALACE ROAD
KINGSTON, ON K7L 4T3
TEL (613) 548-4461 FAX (613) 548-4744
Deacon Mark / Deacon Blaine/ Deacon Bob / Deacon Bill
TO OUR NEW PERMANENT DEACONS
ORDAINED ON 7 DEC 2018
MASS OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION AND ORDINATIONS TO THE PERMANENT DIACONATE
December 7, 2018
PHOTOS by Sharon Buffett / PHOTOS by Paul Hibbard
- Allan Hogan (Bernice)
- Peter Kelly (Christian Colby-Kelly)
- Nick Whalen (Jocelyn)
- Paul Bowman (Nimi)
DEACON PHIL CARNEY
RECEIVED A PAPAL BLESSING ON HIS 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF ORDINATION
SOME VIDEO LINKS WHICH YOU MAY FIND INTERESTING
- Understanding the Vocation of a Permanent Deacon
- An Introduction and over view of the vocation and formation of the Permanent Diaconate.
Excellent on the four areas of formation, human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral. Be sure to ignore the contact information at the end as that is specific to the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania. (11:29 minutes.)
- The Form of a Servant: What is a Permanent Deacon?
Testimony from Permanent Deacons and their wives. Just a note that Permanent Deacons in the Archdiocese of Kingston do not generally as a rule wear the clerical collar except perhaps in institutional ministry, ie. nursing home, hospital, prison, military.
- Salt and Light interview with Deacon Dennis Rivest, Diocese of London, Ontario
A good invitation for those discerning a call to the Permanent Diaconate. (22:30 minutes)