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Nine Men Ordained to the Permanent Diaconate

Posted : May-27-2016

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​​​​​On Saturday, May 28 at 10 a.m., nine men​ will be ordained permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Toronto. Their ministry begins in Toronto’s St. Paul’s Basilica, but will extend far beyond church walls.

The assignments for these new deacons reflect the diverse ways the Church is engaged in society: serving the poor at St. Francis Table, accompanying the sick and dying in hospitals, and assisting those with intellectual disabilities. Other deacons will support former prisoners through the Friends of Dismas ministry and provide pastoral care to itinerant workers through the Apostleship of the Seas.

The Mass and ordination ceremony will be presided over by Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto.

Permanent deacons​ serve the Church by assisting the archbishop and priests of the diocese. Their roles may be linked to charitable work in the community, ministering in parishes and schools, and serving directly on the altar - they have the liturgical authority to baptize children, witness marriages and preside at funerals.

In 1967, following the Second Vatican Council, the Roman Catholic Church reintroduced the permanent diaconate program. Unlike transitional deacons, permanent deacons are not studying to become priests - once ordained, they remain deacons for the rest of their lives. Since 1972, St. Augustine’s Seminary in Scarborough has provided the formation program for 287 diaconal candidates and their wives serving in the Archdiocese of Toronto. Nearly 150 deacons are currently in active ministry. The program involves one year of prayer and discernment and four years of formation and theological study.

The class of 2016 represents a diverse range of backgrounds and professions:

  • John Colletti, St. Francis Xavier Parish, Mississauga – Husband to Serina and father of two, vice-president of human resources. Assignment with the Friends of Dismmas.
  • ​Roy Emmanuel, St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Mississauga – Husband to Meera and father of two, accountant. Assigned to minister at Trillium Health Centre.
  • Bosco D’Couto, Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish, Richmond Hill – Husband to Camilla and father of two, real estate representative. Assigned to minister at North York General Hospital.
  • Ignacio Mateo, St. Roch’s Parish, Weston – Husband to Ana and father of one, maintenance worker. Assignment is at St. Francis Table.
  • Paul McCourt, St. John’s Parish, Toronto – Husband to Lisa and father of two, president of his company. Assigned to minister to the Deaf community.
  • Donald McMillan, St. Patrick’s Parish, Schomberg – Husband to Debra, senior manager for his company. Assignment is at L’Arche Daybreak in Richmond Hill.
  • David Quail, St. Edward the Confessor Parish, North York – Husband to Elizabeth and father of two, business owner. Assigned to minister at North York General Hospital.
  • Alban Soares, St. Frances de Sales Parish, Ajax – Husband to Sharon and father of three, director in an investment company. Assigned to minister with the Apostleship of the Seas.​
  • Bruce Stewart, St. John the Evangelist Parish, Caledon – Husband to Lynn and father of four, executive vice-president for an engineering firm. Assignment is at Orangeville Hospital and Bethel Hospice.