Thursday, February 7, 2013

Permanent diaconate offers 'great gift'

First class scheduled for ordination in 2015

Mgsr. Gregory Smith chats with candidates for the permanent diaconate and their wives in the Rosemary Heights Retreat Centre in January 2013.
(Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic)

As James Joyce famously wrote, "The Catholic Church means, 'Here comes everybody.'" This diversity is reflected in the first class of men studying for the permanent diaconate for the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

Permanent deacons can "witness marriages, bring Viaticum to the dying, and preside at funerals and burials."

Msgr. Smith clarified that discernment for the ministry helps men discover whether "they have a new vocation in addition to being married." If accepted as candidates they meet monthly and take academic courses through St. Mark's College for four years.

Hilmar Pabel, a history professor at Simon Fraser University, joined the study group in 2011.

"What I really value is the fellowship between candidates," he said. "I came in without any brothers and sisters and came out with 18," he said with a smile.
Read the full article here. 

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