An Invitation to Examine
the Permanent Diaconate

The role of the Deacon within the Church
has a long history of service dating back to the early church and is enjoying
a resurgence in the modern post Vatican II era.

A Deacon is ordained to a mission of service
within his parish and community and is a member of the Clergy under the direction
of the Bishop of the Diocese. He assumes
a servant’s role; and extension of the Shepherding duties of the Bishop.

While all the faithful of the church are
called to love and serve each other by virtue for their Baptism, some are
ordained to specific forms of ministry.
Bishops, Priests and Deacons all serve the Church in their unique roles.

If you are a married or single man
between 35-60 years who feels a call to be more active within your local
parish, perhaps God is calling you to the Permanent Diaconate.

A Deacon is not a priest. At ordination, "he is permanently and
publically configured to Christ the Servant, he shares the overall pastoral
responsibility of the Bishop to care for all the people of the diocese, and
becomes an integral part of the clerical structure of the church, in
partnership with priests, serving the needs of the entire diocese." (Dietwig,
Williamm T., 101 Questions A& Answers on Deacons, p. 11.)

Through a four year formation program of
education, spiritual formation, a series of group retreats and continued
activity within his parish, the Candidate is guided toward the discernment of
his call and a full preparation for his work as a Deacon.

Most Deacons are married, have children
and jobs. His commitment to the program
becomes a journey for his wife and children as well. The full support of the family is vital.
Duties within the family are not to be
replaced or neglected by the demands of study and function within the parish,
though they will certainly have some impact.

Currently in the Diocese of St. Paul
there are six ordained Permanent Deacons, four Candidates about to commence
their second year of formation, and plans are underway to commence another four
year formation program in the fall of 2016.

If you feel you would like to know more
about the diaconate ministry and examine your place in the role of a Deacon in
the Diocese of St. Paul, please get in touch with Bishop Paul Terrio at 780-645-3277
or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


1.  Fr. Jose Chirappanath, cmi, has been recalled to India by his Community effective August 30, 2015.  We thank him for his years of pastoral
     services and devotion in the Diocese of St. Paul.

2.  Fr. Jacob Alvares, sac, is appointed pastor of St. Dominic and Assumption parishes of Cold Lake effecitve September 1, 2015.

3.  Fr. Aureus Manjares is appointed pastor of St. Jean-de-Brébeuf parish in Mallaig and St. Helen in St. Lina effective September 1, 2015.

4.  Fr. Francis Geraldo is appointe pastor of St. Emile in Legal effective September 1, 2015

4.  Fr. Martin Jubinville is appointed Diocesan Chaplain for the CWL effective August 30, 2015 without prejudice to his other functions.

1.  Father Dario Abram, former Vicar-General retires from pastoral ministry and resides at Villa Shalom effective August 31, 2015.

2.  Father Rene Realuyo is appointed Vicar-General of the Diocese of St. Paul without prejudice to his current duties.

3.  Father Peter Tran, former Chancellor returning from a sabbatical year is appointed Episcopal-Vicar for the retired clergy.

4.  Father Andrew Schoenberger is appointed Episcopal-Vicar for the North and pastor of St. John the Baptist parish in Fort McMurray effective August 10, 2015.

5.  Father Jose Chirappanath, cmi, is appointed pastor of St. Dominic in Cold Lake effective August 10, 2015.

6.  Father Francis Geraldo is appointed pastor of St. Jean-de-Brébeuf parish in Mallaig effective September 1, 2015.

7.  Father Paul Vithayathil, cmi, is appointed associate pastor for Boyle, with residence at the Boyle rectory effective July 2, 2015.

8.  Father Gérard Gauthier, without prejudice to his present duties, is appointed Vice-Chancellor effective July 1, 2015.

9.  Reverend Mr. Jerry Metz is appointed Chancellor effective July 1, 2015.

10.  Seminarian Michael Ngo is apointed to St. Louis de France parish in Bonnyville for a pastoral internship effective August 1, 2015.

Handing on the Whole Tradition

Dr. Glenn CJ Byer

Isn’t it great to be Catholic these days? The Pope is admired around the world, we have just celebrated the Easter rituals and customs that help us to be aware of the presesnce of God in our lives, and people who share our faith continue to do amazing things in service to the poor, the unborn, the elderly.

But challenges remain. Many people have no place for church membership in their lives. They feel like they need to run non-stop just to supply food, shelter, health, education, and to find a bit of community support and recreation for their families. These sound like physical needs, and at one level they are, but it is to our loss if we see them only in those terms, for these same concerns exist on the level of the spiritual life.

Those of us who are part of the Church show how membership can meet the spiritual dimension of these physical needs. The tradition of which we are a part expects this, and if we don’t act on this, we diminish the power of the Gospel.

Food – Faith means that the word of God is the food for our souls. In the sacraments, especially the Mass we know that God in Christ himself feeds us. So it seems to me that when it comes to food in the world, the Church, our communities need to be there too. The Church had a long tradition of blessing the food for the Easter meals, of blessing seeds, fields and animals, and of giving thanks at the harvest. We still have all these tools at our disposal. We can also bless hunters and fishermen during their various seasons. But there are new ways we can be present. Why not an annual day of prayer for farmers who are planning out the coming year. A mix of discussion among farmers and prayer for discernment places the Church at the centre of these discussions. So too the care for people who need food through the support of food banks and other charities must be at the heart of parish life. It is what we do. What we are handing on is the faith that all that nourishes us comes from God.

Shelter – I was sad to see that St. Anthony’s in my home town of Busby is no longer there. This is not just nostalgia. It was in many ways my spiritual home. I knew the families that had built that place, and it was a kind of sacrament of their devotion. When we talk about building homes for our families, any carpenter will tell you that it is much more than the sum of the individual beams and drywall. In this world of mobility, I am so grateful for the communities of faith in nearly a dozen places where I have lived. Often it has been immediately clear I could count on other Catholics to welcome me and to let me know about all the wonderful things that the local community has to offer. Even before newcomers to our community unpack all the boxes, they should know that they have a place to lay their spirit.

Health –Healthcare has been part of the Christian tradition since since Christ had healing as a major part of his ministry. Since then, remembering all the order of nursing sisters, the efforst of the hospital orders in the Holy Land, what we are learning once again is that spiritual balance has a key role to play in our physical balance, in our health. What we can hand on is the tradition of visiting and praying with the sick, listening to their fears and bringing Communion and the love of the community to them. It is especially at the end of life that we have much to offer, both in terms of the liturgy and prayer, but equally important assuring them by our presence that they are not alone as they make that great journey. What we are handing on is that community is not just for the easy times. It is especially for the hard times, and by faith it is for all time and beyond time.

Education and Recreation – In the debates that sometimes flare up around Catholic schools, we need to remember that the Church, the actual Catholic Church has been at the forefront of education, science, the arts, and yes, even of sports. It was Christian Brother Matthias Boutlier that trained Babe Ruth, and here in Canada, we had the Flying Fathers. Many Catholic organizations continue this tradition of showing how learning, performing and playing are all ways in which we can share our faith and celebrate the gifts that God has given us. To reduce Catholic faith to going to church, prayer and acts of charity is to weaken the power of the message. Faith is for all, and the church should be reaching out in a thousand ways to show God’s love.

Community Support – Ultimately all of this comes to the building of a caring community. In the years since Vatican II the Church has done wonderful work at placing the celebration of the Eucharist at the summit of our lives as Catholics. What has been less successful is the development of the rest of the spiritual life. The Eucharist needs to be the summit of something more, and so the life of the community – in prayer, in education and recreation, in caring for the needs of others, and in nourishing the body and soul of all God’s children – all of this needs to be part of the tradition – part of what we hand on to those who follow in our footsteps.