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Deacons at ministry We are here with the infirm and imprisoned, With the outcast and wayward traveller, With the believer and the seeker, With the abandoned and despairing, With those who worship and praise. With our wives as companions We gladly offer ourselves for the sake of love, Knowing that a door is being opened Which would otherwise remain closed, That a path is being cleared Where there would otherwise be nothing But confusion and bewilderment. Joyfully we follow the call of Jesus To serve where we are needed. By our presence we offer hope In the face of despair, knowing It is rooted in the source of all hope, The God of renewal and resurrection. By our witness we hold out a light, Knowing it finds its illuminating power In Him who is the light of the world, Our Lord, Jesus Christ. We are humbled by His generosity. We accept in constant thanks. Deacon Tony Pignataro
40th Anniversary The Diaconate Celebrates a Milestone A CATHOLIC REGISTER SPECIAL PULL-OUT FEATURE
40 yeaRs of dIaconate
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For the deacon class of ’72, it was a family affair BY ERIN MORAWETZ The Catholic Register TORONTO
When the first class for the permanent diaconate gathered for its initial orientation Sept. 16, 1972, the candidates brought along their wives and children. For those present that day, it was the beginning of many bonds that would last for years. “I made real life-long friendships with them,” said Alexander MacGregor, one of the 33 men who met that day. “Meeting other men and their wives and their families who were dedicated, inspiring, hard workers — it was really inspiring to be involved.” Forty years ago this month, the permanent diaconate came to English Canada with the launch of a deacons’ program in the archdiocese of Toronto. That followed the launch of similar programs in the United States, Europe and other countries. The ministry of deacons, which had been important in the early Church, was revived at Vatican II to assist in parish work and to proclaim the Gospel in the community, particularly through acts of charity. From the first class of 33 candidates, the diaconate has spread across Canada so that today deacons are commonplace in most dioceses. Toronto alone has more
Patrick Matthews was a member of the first class of deacons for the archdiocese of Toronto. His daughter Branwyn is with him at one of the first weekend sessions for the candidates. (Register file photo)
than 100 active deacons and has ordained 272 deacons since 1972. Many will officially celebrate the 40th anniversary on Sept. 29 at a Mass celebrated by Bishop Vincent Nguyen, followed by a gala dinner.
Stanley MacLellan, who worked in the financial industry and had always been active in his parish, heard about the diaconate through his university pal, Fr. Paul Giroux, a member of the archdiocese
On the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Permanent Diaconate Program in the Archdiocese of Toronto The Diaconate Community of Toronto would like to express our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the prayers, support and love of the people, parishioners, priests, religious and bishops of the Archdiocese. We humbly thank our Lord for this calling to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ and for the many blessings we have received throughout these last 40 years. With joy we look forward to serving all people of the Archdiocese with our priests and bishops in our prayers and presence in the years ahead.
of Toronto’s committee on the permanent diaconate. “He came to my parish and we renewed our friendship,” MacLellan said. “He told me what they were trying to do. I thought it sounded interesting.” Appointed co-ordinator of his year, MacLellan helped shape that inaugural class. “That was an interesting two years to start, creating the program as we went along,” he said. “We got together so many times over the next two years, planning the next session in the seminary, changing
as things went along.” When the first class of deacons began its two-year course in 1972, the candidates had no idea what to expect. “It was unusual because while we were going through the class, they were also discovering what was needed,” said MacGregor. “In retrospect, the first class got through easier than the other classes. I think from the experience of the first class, those who were in charge refined both the entrance requirements and what was being taught.” Yes they did, but prior to 1972, the committee on the permanent diaconate in Toronto had to decide who could enter the program, how the program would run and the role of deacons within a parish. Two memb ers of t hat committee, Giroux and Msgr. John O’Mara, had attended a conference in Chicago on the permanent diaconate in 1970, bringing back two main ideas about the ideal candidate: first, they had to be more than just a volunteer, they had to be an “ambrosian model”; second, their wives must be like-minded and taken into consideration. To this day, there is a tradition of deacon wives who are just as involved as their husbands. And just as the ideal candidate was formed, so was the structure of the program, a two-year journey that was very academic in nature. It included 10 weekend sessions, including a Sunday evening potluck with wives and children. Giroux, who became the first director of the program, made sure that family and work remained a priority to all candidates. See LEGACY on Page 13
Congratulations to our Deacon
For his 14 years of faith filled and Dedicated service to the parish.
Blessed Sacrament Parish, Toronto
40 yeaRs of DIaconate Legacy of first class lives on What is a deacon?
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Continued from Page 12
BY ALLISON HUNWICKS The Catholic Register
For MacGregor, family had to remain a priority. After all, he had 10 children. “I was involved in several projects — school board, figure skating — and I thought I could do something different in a different field,” he said. But keeping family a priority wasn’t the only prerequisite to be considered a good candidate for deacon. Candidates had to be over 35, in good health and mentally, emotionally and financially stable, with a good job. As a result, the first class formed at St. Augustine’s with 33 men, 28 from the archdiocese of Toronto, and included men in their 30s, 40s and 50s, all with different backgrounds. There was a retired naval officer, an assistant superintendent of a school board, a lawyer, an insurance broker. All but two were married, and so those two took a vow of celibacy, as required for unmarried or widowed deacons. Then-Archbishop Philip Pocock said at the time that he felt grateful to all the men in the class who felt called to serve, for different reasons, from different places in life. Over the years, there have been
When asked just what exactly is a deacon, Steve Pitre bursts out laughing. “You’ve asked the question that theologians have been pondering for 50 years, and they still haven’t come up with a definitive answer,” said the co-ordinator of the permanent diaconate for the archdiocese of Toronto. That’s because the nature of the deacon’s work is so allencompassing and thoroughly engaged with his community that it can often be difficult to lay a strict definition to their ministry. “The deacon is to be the icon of Christ the servant. When we talk about service, it’s in three areas: charity, liturgy and the word,” said Pitre. Diaconate candidates in Toronto do four years of formative study and practice at St. Augustine’s Seminary. Unlike a priest, the deacon is ordained through a call to service. The ministry is open to all men between the ages of 35-59, both single and married, and, if married, requires the complete consent and support of his spouse (wives are active in their husband’s ministry).
From left, Alexander MacGregor, Thomas Creswell and James Claire are ordained to the permanent diaconate. The men were from the first permanent deacons’ class for Toronto, in 1974. (Register file photo)
many changes to the program. The academic portion is now four years long, with a class graduating every two years. More recently, a foundation year for men to decide if this is the right path for them was added in conjunction with a similar year for seminarians. MacGregor is happy to have been a part when it was all just beginning. “Coming up with clear direction as to what ministries were and how
Congratulations to all Deacons for their good work in the Parishes. Thank you from Father Grima and the parishoners of St. John Fisher Church.
Fr. Paul Hancko and the Parishioners of St. Patrick Church in Schomberg & St. Mary Church in Nobleton wish to congratulate
Deacon Milan Popik
on the occasion of his 10th Anniversary of Diaconate Ordination
Fr. Leo Llames and all parishioners of St. Patrick's Parish and St. Noel Chabanal, Stayner Congratulate Deacon Dave Our many thanks and deep gratitude for your dedication and generosity of time, treasure and talent! GOD BLESSED US!
the formation program should work was always a challenge, but it gave lots of excitement (to my) life.” Only a handful of deacons from that first class are still alive, including two, Tom Cresswell and Larry Rogers, who later became priests after their wives died. But the legacy of the first class lives on, both in the basic structure of the program and in the hearts of its participants.
Fr. Patrick O'Dea, Fr. Steven Dickson and Fr. James Tobin and all the Parishioners and Friends of St. Marguerite d'Youville Parish in Brampton wish to congratulate
Deacon John Daigle
on his service to our parish communities.
Celebrating the anniversary of the Archdiocesan Permanent Diaconate, the Parish of St Patrick's, Phelpston, and Our Lady of Lourdes, Elmvale,
“If he’s married, the call comes from his marriage and therefore from his family. But, in essence too, even if he’s single, it’s still coming from the family, from his support and from his friends,” said Pitre. “While everybody seems to see us strictly in liturgy and preaching, that really comes from our service of charity. It starts with our families first, the community and then with a special emphasis on the less fortunate, the weaker members and the marginalized of our society,” said Pitre. Indeed, in St. Ignatius’ letter to the Trallians, he notes: “… as ministers of the mysteries of Jesus Christ, the deacons should please all in every way they can; for they are not merely ministers of food and drink, but the servants of the Church of God.” In this way, the deacon serves as a vital part of our Christian community. They work not only in parishes, but in all places where there may be need such as hospitals, prisons, even on the streets. They are the mission of service personified, bringing the liturgy of our faith and the essence of charity to all in our communities who may be at need.
On behalf of everyone at St. Patrick’s Parish, Markham I congratulate Deacons Vernon Bechard, Michael Hayes and Michael Walsh. Thank you for your ministry in our parish and in the wider community. God bless, Fr. Dominic Barber
Congratulations Deacon Cesar Sahagun on the 40th Year of the Diaconate in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
gives thanks to God for the faithful ministry of Rev. Mr. Tom Dea and Rev. Mr. Joe Duncan.
Rev. Frs. Beltran and Perez and parishioners at St. Thomas More Church, Scarborough
Fr. Gregory Ace and the Parishioners of St. Padre Pio Church, Kleinburg wish to congratulate Deacon Gary Thibodeau and Deacon Curtis Boone on their service to the Parish and their Ministry.
The priests and all parishioners from St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish wish to congratulate
Deacon Peter Klimek for his many years of faithful service.
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Deacons have been a part of the Church since earliest days Early Scripture makes reference to a form of the diaconate BY ERIN MORAWETZ The Catholic Register TORONTO
This month marks the 40th anniversary of the arrival of the diaconate in English Canada. But the history of the diaconate actually dates back to the earliest days of the Church. The first mention of the diaconate comes right out of Scripture, said Deacon Peter Lovrick, director of the formation program for the diaconate at Toronto’s St. Augustine’s Seminary, who pointed to references from St. Paul in Romans, Corinthians and Timothy in the New Testament. But the most substantive reference to the diaconate is Acts 6:2-7, which directly refers to St. Stephen as the first deacon:
40 yeaRs of DIaconate
“And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.’ “What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. “They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.” Lovrick said some scholars dispute whether these words are specifically pointing towards a diaconate, though Stephen went on to become the first martyr of See COUNCIL on Page 15
To the many deacons who faithfully fulfill their ministry
Congratulations on your 40th anniversary Church Supplies, Religious Books & Gifts www.bbroughton.com
St. Stephen the Martyr is seen in a mural painted by Lorenzo Sabbatini. He was the first deacon and today lives on as patron saint of deacons. (CNS photo/courtesy of the Vatican Museums)
Congratulations to the
Permanent Diaconate of the Archdiocese of Toronto on your 40th anniversary.
Heartfelt thanks to all the deacons and their families May you continue in your many ministries in the name of Jesus
40 yeaRs of DIaconate
catholicregister.org | September 2, 2012 | 15
Council of Trent tried to revive the diaconate Continued from Page 14
Christianity, and his name lives on as the patron saint of deacons. “Many of the early fathers of the Church wrote about deacons,” Lovrick said. “Deacons in the early Church had a pretty prominent role, eventually taking upon administrative and juridical positions in the Church. “They were very closely connected to the bishops… but they were a distinct group. They were not priests.” After several centuries of deacons working closely with bishops, things started to change, said Lovrick. “They brought in the various orders,” he said. “It began to look that the deacon was a step to be a priest, and it became that way.” Today, there is a transitional diaconate, the step immediately before one becomes a priest, and the permanent diaconate, for those who do not go on to the priesthood. But before these were established as distinct ideas, the permanent diaconate began to wane by 1000, and soon disappeared in the western Church. The Council of Trent, a council of ecclesiastical and theological experts who met in Trent to discuss important matters in the Catholic Church, was the first occasion after the original decline of the diaconate that the idea of a renewal was brought up. In 1563, during the council’s 23rd session, came the call for a restoration of the diaconate, a movement that was stirred in the Eastern Catholic Churches, where the permanent diaconate had not been quite as weakened. “The original proposal that went into the council was very ambitious and spoke a great deal about the separate order,” Lovrick said. “But there were other things going on in Europe. Nothing really happened
A heartfelt congratulations to the Diaconate of the Archdiocese of Toronto on your 40th anniversary The staff of The Catholic Register would especially like to honour our very own
Deacon Peter Doyle for his dedication to The Catholic Register and his ministry at St. Joseph’s West Hill.
The closing session of the Council of Trent is depicted in an illustration from the 17th century. (CNS photo/courtesy of Art Resource)
until the 20th century. “For 500 years, (the restoration) was on hold.” Of all places for the diaconate to begin its revival,
See MODERN on Page 16
SERRA The Global Lay Apostolate for Vocations in the Catholic Church
Serra extends its heartfelt congratulations and appreciation to the Permanent Deacons as they celebrate the 40th Anniversary of dedicated service in the Archdiocese of Toronto. Serra Objectives and Purposes: • To foster and promote vocations to the ministerial priesthood in the Catholic Church as a particular vocation to service, and to support priests in their sacred ministry; • To encourage and affirm vocations to consecrated religious life in the Catholic Church; • To assist its members to recognize and respond in their own lives to God’s call to holiness in Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.
Why Join Serra? Serrans are Catholic lay men and women who: • have a strong Catholic Faith; • have a deep appreciation for the priesthood and consecrated religious life; and who • are interested in working to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life. If this describes you, please contact a Serra Club President in your local area.
For further information on Serra, please visit our website at: www.serracanada.com or call Vince Primucci, VP and District Governor, Ontario, at 416-569-2463
With immense gratitude to all our Deacons past and present, in particular our very own, Deacon Don Roberts, for your years of joyful and generous commitment to God and his holy people in the Archdiocese of Toronto. May you continue to inspire and show the gentle face of Christ in all you say and do, and with your life, we pray you bring to fulfillment what God in his goodness has begun in you. Fr. Joseph Grima, Fr. Jim Roth, Staff, and Parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi, Mississauga, ON.
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40 yeaRs of DIaconate Modern revival of diaconate originated in the Dachau concentration camp Continued from Page 15
The Dachau concentration camp was the unlikely place where talk about the revival of the permanent diaconate evolved. (CNS photo/Reuters)
it was the Nazi concentration camp Dachau during the Second World War. A small number of Catholic priests were detained there, in a cellblock called the “priest block.” And it was there the rumblings of a new diaconate were formulated. Frs. Otto Pies and Wilhelm Schamoni spearheaded the movement. “They saw Europe crumbling around them,” Lovrick said. “They saw the ravages of war, they saw the attack on the Church. “They had faith that we were going to get through this, but when we got through this, we would be in the ruins and things would need to be rebuilt.” These priests began to write about bringing back the diaconate envisioned at Trent, about how deacons could help the priesthood restore faith after the war. These thoughts were published, and another mind began to write about similar ideas — Fr. Karl Rahner, the great theologian. “Rahner talked about how there were lots of people in the world doing diaconal things, but they weren’t given the sacramental grace of ordination to do it,” Lovrick said. “It only made sense to empower people to do what you were asking them to do. That was his basic argument.” Meanwhile, a charitable movement in Germany called Caritas was getting very involved with restoring the diaconate by publishing articles and hosting open forums for discussion. By 1962, efforts by several groups and individuals came together with a petition for Pope John XXIII, which made its claim: “Well-known theologians have studied the matter from the historical, theological and practical points of view, and have arrived at the consensus that the proposed restoration (1) is possible, (2) would bear great fruit in the interior life of the Church, and (3) would do much to foster the cause of unity among Christians which Christ so dearly desires.” What followed were seven questions and potential issues of reinstating deacons, and reasons and answers behind all of them; this petition set into motion the
Fr. Karl Rahner
events of the Second Vatican Council. Vatican II, much like the Council of Trent, discussed the Church and its place in the modern world. It ran from 1962 to 1965, and the restoration of the diaconate was a solid fixture of discussion. But the council did something that Trent didn’t — it followed through on the diaconate discussion. “In the (Second) Vatican (Council), 101 propositions were specifically on the diaconate,” Lovrick said. “There was a lot of back and forth, some cardinals in support… others against it. But by 1964, the dogmatic document of the Church, Lumen Gentium, (had a) very clear section on the deacons calling for the restoration on the diaconate.” Four years later, in 1968, came the first ordination ceremonies of deacons since the Reformation — fittingly, in Germany. Several other countries, including Colombia, followed suit, so that by 1970 there were almost 100 permanent deacons around the world. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Winnipeg in 1968 and voted overwhelmingly to ask Rome for permission to restore the diaconate in Canada. By 1969 it was granted. Toronto came aboard in 1972, thus forming the first class of permanent deacons in the archdiocese of Toronto, who were ordained two years later. To date, 272 men have been ordained deacons in Toronto.
40 yeaRs of dIaconate
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Music ministry perfect fit for folk hobbyist Women at Carmelina Home find joy in the experience BY ERIN MORAWETZ The Catholic Register TORONTO
Every Wednesday night, Deacon Philip Allard drives through rush-hour traffic across Toronto to Carmelina Home, a long-term care residential program run by the Passionist Sisters for women recovering from addiction, substance abuse and emotional issues. Allard takes with him his guitar. A social worker by trade and a folk musician by hobby, Allard
joined the diaconate 12 years ago and has held a ministry position at Carmelina Home for seven years, playing his guitar and leading a sing-song with the women who live there. Before that, he dabbled in ministry work at a hospital and at Providence Centre, but found those placements to be too similar to his profession. “I was looking for a unique and different experience,” Allard said. Allard admits he didn’t know what a deacon was before he looked into becoming one himself. He did, however, feel compelled to do more. And his ministry at Carmelina Home has turned out to be the perfect fit for Allard, who on top of playing the guitar has performed in
St. Joseph's West Hill sends congratulations to the Toronto Diaconate on its 40th anniversary. A special thank you to our own deacons, Peter Doyle, Vinh Van Tran and Andrew Kemp from the parish, Fr. Michal Jurkowski and Fr. Francis Folleh
Deacon Philip Allard makes the rush-hour drive each Wednesday evening to Carmelina Home in west-end Toronto where he performs for the women in residence. (Photo courtesy of Deacon Philip Allard)
singing with the women for their annual gala several years ago. “All the women there really wanted an opportunity to sing, with me leading the song,” Allard said. “Just the excitement in the
Fr. Jim McLenagahen and the parishioners of St. Margaret’s Church, Midland wish to congratulate Deacon Michael Conlin on 36 years of service and Deacon William Carson on 14 years of service
Fr. Peter Choi & the Parishioners of St. Gertrude’s Parish, Oshawa Wish to Congratulate Deacon Ron Fleming & Deacon Mark Castanier For their service to the Parish & their Ministry.
St. John’s Parish on Kingston Rd. thanks Deacon Gerald Godsoe for his many years of service. Father Robert O’Brien and the Parishioners
community theatre, even playing lead roles in several Gilbert and Sullivan musicals. “I didn’t go there with any specific agenda,” Allard said of how his ministry at Carmelina Home came to be one of music. “I thought music would be nice, (and) they really took to (it). I’m building my repertoire and having a lot of fun.” Carmelina Home boasts a strict and intensive two-year program, so Allard tries to keep Wednesday evenings light and enjoyable. The songs are not strictly religious, though Allard said he tries to pick ones with uplifting and positive spiritual messages. One crowd favourite is “Lean on Me.” “It’s not a religious song, but it’s very inspiring and encouraging.” But he said the most encouraging songs of all are ones that involve everyone. “Musically, it’s always nice when you’re including other people,” Allard said. “Some of the women really like to sing so it gives me an opportunity to throw in a couple harmonies.” For Allard, one of his best experiences at Carmelina Home is
The Parish of St. Philip Neri, Downsview wish to congratulate Deacon Luigi Bertolone, Deacon Damien McGowan & Deacon Agustin Meneses on their Ministries and service to our Parish.
With a heartfelt thanks to
Fr. Jeffrey Masterson and the Parishioners of St. Dunstan’s Church wish to congratulate
Deacon Sal Badali from your Franciscan family — Conventual Franciscan Friars & Parishioners of St. Bonaventure Parish.
Deacon Philip Allard on his service to the Parish.
of St. Gregory The Great Church, Oshawa, wish to thank
Deacon David MacInnis
for his service to the Parish and his Ministry for the past two years.
Fr. Maderak and the parishioners of St. Leonard’s Church, Brampton wish to congratulate Deacon Oswald D'Paiva and Deacon Miles Schell on their 8 years of service.
home the weeks leading up to that, that’s probably the most memorable. “It seemed to be a very happy time for the women, to share joy in that experience.”
Fr Paul Dobson, Fr Allyn Rose and the parishioners of St. Isaac Jogues Church, Pickering, wish to congratulate
Deacon Ken Sylvan Deacon Ray DelCastilho and Deacon Rudy Ovcjak
for their service to the holy Catholic Church.
40 yeaRs of dIaconate
18 | September 2, 2012 | catholicregister.org
Deacon trades street beat for hospital ministry His career with Toronto police showed Jurenas he had what it takes BY ERIN MORAWETZ The Catholic Register TORONTO
For nearly 30 years, George Jurenas patrolled the streets of Toronto, keeping people safe. Today, this retired cop patrols the hallways of hospitals, giving people hope. Jurenas was ordained a deacon in 2008, and has spent most of his time since as a chaplain at Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga and with the Peel Regional Police. And while he said his main inspiration for entering the diaconate was his own parish deacon, he recognizes his years with the Toronto Police Service showed him he had what it takes. “People would call me Father Confessor,” Jurenas laughed. “(After I arrested people) they’d
be sitting in the back of the cruiser and just seemed to open up to me naturally.” Meeting so many different kinds of people in his profession, Jurenas said, taught him some valuable lessons. “Over the years, what I found was people aren’t evil,” he said. “No one wants to live on the streets, no one wants to rob a bank, no one wants to put a needle in their arm. There’s usually a reason why they did what they did. There’s a hurt or a pain or something behind that action that for one reason or another placed them there.” It’s a lesson that has helped him in many situations, like once when he was faced with a patient who, to put it lightly, did not care for his help. “I introduced myself, said hi, I’m the chaplain, and I basically get, ‘eff off,’ ” Jurenas said. “I said hey, no problem, God bless you. But you never know. Someone could be in a real bad See HEALTH on Page 19
Father Andrew Cyruk and the parishioners of Guardian Angels Church, Orillia Sacred Heart Mission Church, Warminster wish to congratulate
Deacon Bob Sparkes on 19 years of service
Deacon George Jurenas retired from the Toronto Police Service and now ministers at Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga, Ont., as well as with the Peel Regional Police. (Photo courtesy of Deacon George Jurenas)
Father Andrew Cyruk and the parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi Church, Washago wish to congratulate
Deacon Miles Schell
Deacon Jan Sirek on 4 years of service
on 8 years of service
Sacred Heart Parish Uxbridge, Ontario "Deacons are a wonderful help to the pastor and the parish community. My deacon Rev. Mr. Bill Letterio assists me in a profound way in providing service and evangelization to God's children. Deacons are crucial in parish ministry today." Rev. Father John M. Duffy
Fr. Edwin Galea, Fr. Elias Chachati and the Parishioners of St. Maria Goretti Church, Scarborough wish to congratulate
Deacon Ramon Villardo
on his service to the Parish and his Ministry.
Father Andrew Cyruk and the parishioners of St. Columbkille Church, Uptergrove wish to congratulate
Deacon Alfred Stong on 12 years of service
Fr. Juozapas Maria Zukauskas, OFM,
the Lithuanian Franciscan Fathers and the parishioners of The Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ Parish, Etobicoke, wish to congratulate
Fr. James Cherickal & Fr. Paul Mag yar
Deacon Dr. Kasimir Ambrozaitis
Deacon Carlos Nogueira
on 12 years of service.
The Parish of St. Rose of Lima, Scarborough wish to congratulate
Deacon Anthony Teresi
On his service to the Parish and his Ministry.
along with the parishioners of St. Anne’s Church, Brampton wish to congratulate and thank on 16 years of service
Fr. Gregory Choi & the Parishioners of St. Andrew Kim Parish, Toronto Wish to Congratulate
Deacon Michael Kim for his service to the Parish & his Ministry.
40 yeaRs of dIaconate Deacon’s own health woes help him in ministry
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Continued from Page 18
place… and it’s not that they don’t ever want to talk to you, it’s just at that time.” Jurenas never gave up on this man, and eventually they were able to turn a corner. But he’s not always so calm and collected, especially working in the palliative care ward. And it is in showing his true emotions that Jurenas sees the biggest difference between his former job and current work. “I don’t have to pretend to be tough,” Jurenas said. “I can actually cry with people. There is strength in showing your weakness. As an officer, you (have to) play … tough, and there’s a reason for it. If you act mushy people will walk all over you. “As an officer you’re always standing behind this façade. I’m tough, I’m in control. Then you realize none of us are really in control.” This hit close to home for Jurenas when he was diagnosed with prostate and bladder cancer himself before becoming a deacon. He underwent an operation and radiation therapy and is now in remission, but he said the experience gave him insight into what people are
Deacon George Jurenas says “you’re not a superhero, you’re not a saviour” as a deacon, you just do what you can do. (Photo courtesy of Deacon George Jurenas)
feeling and going through in hospitals. “I’ve laid in that bed,” Jurenas said. “No matter what faith you are, we’re all going through the same fears, the same worries and the same pains when we’re lying in that hospital bed.”
Jurenas uses this kind of non-denominational approach to spirituality in his chaplaincy work. “For me as a Catholic deacon, it’s really neat when I do go visit people from other faiths, whether it be Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, you name it,” Jurenas said. “We meet together at a certain spiritual, emotional place. Some people say does it weaken your faith? I always tell them if anything, it strengthens my faith. There’s a face of Christ in all of us.” Jurenas saw this as particularly true when he experienced what he described as a miracle — a man who was told he had months to live walked out of the hospital a year and a half later. Jurenas and the man’s wife, a Muslim woman, had been praying together every week, he with his rosary, she with her amber beads. “There’s a sense of respect of each other, even though we’re from different faiths and backgrounds,” Jurenas said. “It just shows you when we concentrate on what we have in common, Christ finds a way.” Jurenas has also found humour in many situations, such as the time he came across
It is with great pride that we recognize the wonderful work that our Deacon Michael Salvatore Charles Gennero Deacon Michael T. Hayes Deacon James Shaughnessy do for the people of God in the parish of Good Shepherd and in the community. May the Good Lord continue to guide you as you spread His love. Congratulations! Father Anthony Iacobelli and the parish family
a patient and recognized him as a former biker — one whom he had arrested at least half a dozen times in downtown Toronto. “I used to tell him, you’re not really good at (being a criminal),” Jurenas laughed. “If (I), this beat cop, can arrest you half a dozen times, you should probably look for another line of work!” Even former arrestees, Jurenas looked to help. “Here’s a guy, a big feared biker. When he’d walk down the street people would move out of his way,” Jurenas said. “And all of a sudden he’s like a baby, wearing a diaper, can’t really leave the bed. It really affected him emotionally, that self-esteem drop.” And so Jurenas went out
and bought this man Harley Davidson stickers for his wheelchair. “It was just beautiful to see, he went from this depressed state to laughing and joking,” Jurenas said. “Last thing I heard he’s at a long-term care facility and he’s scooting around.” But ever humble, this devoted husband and father of four would never take too much credit. “I’m basically a mirror, and I just show what you have inside of you,” he said. “At the end of the day you have to realize you’re not a superhero, you’re not a saviour. You’re just a very mortal human being. “You do what do can.”
The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and staff of Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre, Mississauga, offer congratulations and prayers on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Diaconate in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
Your ministerial help has been God’s blessing to all. It has been our privilege to welcome you to the centre for yearly retreats and we look forward to meeting your spiritual needs in the future. May God continue to bless you and all those to whom you are sent. 905-278-5229 www.qoa.ca
St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, Toronto Congratulations to our Deacon
for his 27 years of faith ﬁlled and dedicated service to the parish.
40 yeaRs of dIaconate
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Fr. Joseph Wasik, Fr. Kazimierz Brzozowski and Parishioners of Christ the King Church, Etobicoke wish to congratulate Deacon David Sandford on his 40 years of service to the Parish
Fr. John Nosan and theParishioners from Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish in Richmond Hill would like to thank:
Deacon Malcolm Peake Deacon Gerry Steyn Deacon Steve Di Mauro who have served at the Parish for their faithful service. “the love of Christ urges us on” (2 Cor 5:14)
Merciful Redeemer Parish Mississauga, Ontario
We would like to thank our deacons, Rev. Mr. Brian Du Quesnay and Rev. Mr. Peter Rickards for their continuous and faithful ministry to our parish community. With appreciation and congratulations on this anniversary of deacon’s ministry
Deacon Kevin Brockerville is the only deaf deacon in the archdiocese of Toronto. (Photo by Erin Morawetz)
Deaf deacon’s trust in God helps him overcome the odds BY ERIN MORAWETZ The Catholic Register TORONTO
There’s no denying that Deacon Kevin Brockerville is a communicator. When he talks about his wife, he smiles wide. When asked how he balances family and his deacon responsibilities, he jokes about having two ropes tied around his neck, eyes lighting up in laughter. And when he describes the people who have helped him throughout his life, his emotion is clear. And he communicates all of this while being deaf. Not able to hear since age three, Brockerville credits his faith with moving him forward. And it all started with a teacher in his hometown in Newfoundland. “She would always take me to the church,” Brockerville said through an interpreter. “I didn’t really understand what church was. I would sit there and see people kneeling and praying but I didn’t know what that was.” It was this teacher who also made sure Brockerville received the proper education. “She found where the school for the deaf was that I could go to,” he said. The school was in Halifax, and moving there for Brockerville was a necessary step in his spiritual journey. “There I started understand-
ing,” he said. “They taught religion, so I got the idea about my faith. It’s a struggle for the deaf to understand religion but I’m very happy that I had the education that helped me.” Brockerville moved back to Newfoundland after school, and met a missionary priest from the United States who could sign. “My mouth was wide open, I was so shocked,” Brockerville said. “‘You mean there’s a priest that can sign?’ It really inspired my wanting to serve. He’s a priest and he’s serving us.” By the end of the 1960s, then with a wife, Gertrude, who is hearing impaired but not deaf, and his first child, Brockerville moved to Toronto for work and started attending Holy Name Church at Pape and Danforth, where the deaf ministry in Toronto gathered at the time. “Everyone was signing and the priest was signing,” Brockerville said. “Wow, it was so powerful to me to see that everyone would come.” The ministry has since moved to St. Stephen’s Chapel in downtown Toronto, where Brockerville serves as a deacon. “I just felt that God was calling me to serve the deaf people,” he said about his decision to join the diaconate. But he described his studies — culminating in his ordination in 1984 — as a “real struggle.” “I was the only deaf person,”
Brockerville said. “It was harder (for me) than (for) the hearing people because I had a hard time understanding the language.” Brockerville explained this is a common thread for all deaf people in grasping theology, and said homilies have to be very simple when signing. In the end, though, he made his way through the four years of diaconate study. “I kept listening with my eyes. I kept watching,” he said. “I know that I struggled. But I had to trust God and I trust Him.” Today, there are four locations for the deaf ministry in the archdiocese of Toronto: in Toronto, Barrie, Oshawa and Mississauga. Brockerville, who spends his time at the downtown Toronto location, is the only deaf deacon, and so has much responsibility, not only with serving at Mass and giving homilies, but also in helping deaf people with further interpretation of the services. “Some of the deaf have questions about their faith, and if they’re studying something or reading something, I help them,” Brockerville said. But this man — who said above his responsibilities in the diaconate and in the deaf ministry is his responsibility to his family — is anything but boastful. “I don’t look for rewards, I look to serve,” he said. “I just follow the faith. I’m here to serve and I serve the best way I can.”
40 yeaRs of DIaconate
catholicregister.org | September 2, 2012 | 21
Wives are an integral part of a deacon’s ministry Family is one of the essential components of the call to serve BY ALLISON HUNWICKS The Catholic Register TORONTO
When Barbara and Stephen Barringer decided to announce to their children that he would be working towards becoming a deacon, their son’s immediate comment was, “Oh wonderful. Dad’s always been great at preaching and now they’re going to give him a licence!” As Barringer laughingly recounts this story, it can’t help but be reflective of one of the most essential components of the deacon’s calling: his family. As the old adage says, behind every good man is a good woman — and this could not be more true than when applied to the role of the deacon’s wife in his ministry. Since one of the elements of admission into the permanent diaconate is the written consent of his spouse, the deacon’s wife is not only a supporting role, but also a critical element of his fulfilment of ministry. The wives experience
Barbara and Deacon Stephen Barringer. (Photo courtesy of the Barringers)
can be just as epiphanic as their spouse’s, as they discern whether this is the right path not just for
Deacon Henry Verschuren - Retirement St. Mary’s Church (Brampton, ON) wishes to extend a very appreciative “thank you” to Deacon Henry Verschuren for the selfless service he has given to our parish community for over 32 years. Deacon Henry is a wonderful symbol of total commitment to God and His Holy Church. We wish Deacon Henry a blessed and deserving retirement.
The Parish of St. Martin of Tours Parish, Mississauga wishes to congratulate Deacon Peter Lovrick and Deacon Miguel Da Silva on their service to the Parish and their Ministry.
Fr. Neil McMillan and the parishioners of St. Mary Star of the Sea Church congratulate and give thanks to Deacon
for his 18 years of service.
the deacon, but for themselves and their families. “The calling kept coming,” said
Jean Doucette of her husband Bob when he first experienced a desire to enter into the ministry.
Deacon John Kennedy
has been part of our parish family at St. Mary’s Church (Brampton, ON) for more than 10 years and has continued to serve the needs of our brothers and sisters in the community. Deacon John has given insightful and spiritual homilies at our Eucharistic Mass and we are grateful for his commitment to his ministry.
Fr. Gerard Pilon & St. Mary’s Parish in Collingwood would like to congratulate Deacon Charles McCarthy on 34 years of faithful service. We also want to wish him well in his retirement. Fr. Regulo Imperial & Fr. Patrick Gnanapragasam & the Parishioners of Prince of Peace (Scarborough) sincerely thank Deacon Eustace Beausoleil and Deacon Terence Rebello for their generous and devoted service to our Parish. God’s blessings and joy to you and your family!
“When he retired, it came as a very serious consideration. It was discussed together because we had always wanted to work together for the Lord.” Since then, Jean has been able to fulfill her own call to service through her husband’s work at Penetanguishene, Ont.’s Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. “It’s very rewarding — it’s a huge blessing. The staff, the patients, everyone is very special,” she said. For some, the call to service is not such a smooth transition, as Barbara Barringer initially experienced when Stephen, ordained in 1994, first told her that he wanted to become a deacon. “When Stephen first started talking about experiencing this call to vocation, I prayed really, really hard, and, I prayed that it would go away,” said Barringer. “I realized that it would mean a lot of changes, and I don’t deal well with change — I need to come at change kind of slowly. So, I did pray that this was just something that he had taken a notion of and in a little while it would go away. But, it didn’t. We spent about a year talking about it and praying about it, together and separately, before he began to explore it.” See DEACONS on Page 22
St. Mary’s Church (Brampton, ON) welcomes Deacon Franciscus Sukardi to our parish family and congratulates him on his Permanent Diaconate. We are blessed to have Deacon Franciscus assist our parish priests in their ministry to provide outreach in the community to those who are often marginalized. Deacon Franciscus will be an invaluable addition to our parish family.
Congratulations Deacon John Schwarzbauer and Deacon Wayne McCulloch Fr. Michael Hughes and Parishioners of St. Mark’s Parish, Stouffville
The Parish Family of St. Bernadette, Ajax congratulates all permanent Deacons of the Archdiocese, especially our
Deacon Adolf Holy
who served our parish for 37 years. May Our Lady guide your vocations.
22 | September 2, 2012 | catholicregister.org
Deacons and wives support each other’s strengths Continued from Page 21
After what Barringer says were two long years of prayer and discernment, she finally came around to the idea. “I said, ‘Fine, if this is something you really want to pursue, then let’s go for it.’ ” Throughout the formation process, Barringer says that the wife’s role was extremely engaging, and actually, quite liberating, as she was able to attend all the meetings and classes. From there, her fears or apprehensions evaporated as it became clear she would be involved every step of the way. Since then, Barringer has been extensively involved at her parish as CWL president and assists her husband in his work with the parish priest. The diaconate has come a long way since its initial formation, a fact Jean Murphy, whose husband Daniel was ordained in 1974 as part of the first class, can attest to. “It was different then. When they first started, I don’t think anybody quite knew how they were going to train them or what they were going to do,” laughs Murphy. “The first year was a year
of discovery for everybody.” Many of the challenges presented by the new program were overcome by a deep sense of community and involvement by the new deacons and their families. “With the wives, we brought our families down with a pot luck supper every Sunday,” said Murphy. “So, the kids got to know each other and someone was there to monitor them.” These strong ties within the diaconate community have been perpetuated through the years. Almost all of the areas within the archdiocese independently organize monthly gatherings for the deacons and their wives. “We’re very fortunate. Where we are, the deacon’s wives meet once a month. Barrie, Orillia and Midland (roughly those areas), have a Mass and a luncheon,” said Doucette, whose community has been noted as a positive example for such gatherings. “We take turns going to (various parishes) and, what’s really great about it, is it includes the widows of deacons. It allows them a continued support by the diaconate group.” Going forward, the diaconate
Fr. Victor Mallia OCD and the Pastoral Team, the Pastoral and Finance Councils, and all Parishioners and Friends of Our Lady of Fatima Shrine - Scarborough wish to congratulate
Deacon Patrick Matthews on his years of service to our faith community!
Fr. Morosco Lett and the parishioners of Holy Redeemer Parish, Pickering wish to congratulate
Deacon Robert M. Partridge on 34 years of service.
Congratulations Deacon Thomas Kung on the 18th Year of the Diaconate in the Archdiocese of Toronto. Rev. Francis Chong and parishioners at St. Agnes Kouying Tsao Catholic Church
will always be hoping for more men and their families to actualize the call to the diaconate. “It has to be as a couple,” notes Murphy. “That they are supportive of each other’s strengths — that she would support him in his ministry and time expectations, and he would respect the fact that she can be as involved as she wants to be or she can do her own thing. It’s teamwork.” Besides the fulfilment of the ministry, deacons and their wives can have a positive effect on their relationships and families as well. “(Our children) helped in the discernment,” said Barringer. “Our son was the one who said to me, towards the end of that third year, ‘You know Mom, Dad in fact talks a lot less and listens a lot more.’ So, he saw that change. A peace came into the family dynamic which was terrific.” The deacon’s wife reflects not only a call to service, but a life-long connection to their community. “In the diaconate community itself, it’s a very loving, supporting community,” said Doucette. “I can’t say one particular moment, but each person has been such a gift from God.”
40 yeaRs of dIaconate
A group of Toronto deacons and their wives attend a 25th anniversary celebration of the diaconate program at St. Augustine’s Seminary. The permanent diaconate in Toronto turns 40 this year. (Register file photo)
Fr. Boniface Perri & Holy Martyrs of Japan in Bradford would like to congratulate Deacon Dave Langley for his four years of wonderful service & Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann on his ordination.
Fr. Donald Lococo C.S.B., Fr. Jim Stenberg C.S.B. and Fr. Jack Gallagher, C.S.B. and especially all the parishioners of Holy Rosary Parish, Toronto would like to congratulate Deacon Daniel Guillermo Gana for his many years of service.
St. Francis de Sales Catholic Deaf Community Congratulates
Deacon Kevin Brockerville Thank you for your Ministry to the Deaf
Fr. Carlos Macatangga, Svd, Fr. Michael Do, Svd & Fr. Chacko Parekatt, Svd and all the Parishioners and Friends of Cristo Rei Parish & Ss. Salvador Do Mundo Parish Wish to congratulate
Deacon Inácio Rodrigues On his service to our parish communities!
Congratulations Deacon Stephen Palmer and Deacon Brian Mason on the 40th Year of the Diaconate in the Archdiocese of Toronto. Rev. Sherwin and parishioners at Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of the Lake Parish Community.
Fr. Bob, Fr. Marco, Fr. Pietro & Fr. Jim and all parishioners of St. Mary Immaculate Church congratulate
Deacon Joseph D'Amico on his ordination! May God bestow His abundant blessings on his ministry.
Published on Sep 10, 2012
Published on Sep 10, 2012
A special celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Permanent Diaconate Program in the Archdiocese of Toronto