Our friend Guy Dacquay was ordained as an RC Church Deacon this past weekend in the Archdiocese of Ottawa. I have known Guy for 25+ years since we met at Measurement Canada many years ago. We do not see much of each other these days but do keep in touch on spiritual matters. He and his wife Christine are Franco-Manitobans hailing from the St. Boniface area.
A permanent deacon in the RC Church provides a ministry of service to the community. Currently men are ordained as deacons but I believe ordaining of women to this position is actively being considered. With proper authority, deacons preach, teach, counsel and assist the bishop or priest in liturgical celebrations. More importantly they minister to the shut-ins and destitute by taking the Eucharist to their homes, visiting the sick, marginalized and dying and evangelizing e.g., in prison ministry. They baptize, witness marriages and preside at funerals. They promise “obedience” to the Bishop and his successors and are married, widowed or single. The spouse of a deacon in formation is deeply involved in the program.
Permanent deacons are appointed to a particular parish based on the expressed need and, in some cases, based on their particular preference. Some parishes have 1, 2 or more deacons and some have none. Our parish, St. John Chrysostom has 1 permanent deacon and 1 transitional deacon who will eventually be ordained a priest. Men about to retire are prime candidates for the 4 year formation program but there are many younger deacons as well. One Priest we know who shall remain unnamed calls them, tongue in cheek, the “freakin’ deacons”.
We enjoyed the ceremony. The cathedral was hot and crowded. There was a reception in the basement following where we could chat with friends. It was great to be there to celebrate with Guy and Christine. Guy is retiring from Measurement Canada next June. Wishing you both well in your ministry. Congratulations my friend!