Deacon Gary Stokes – Just Amazing

Deacon Gary Stokes was called to the hospital one day to visit a man on the point of death. He had experienced it before; people ask what is ahead and it frightens the heck out of them. But this time was significant. He had very recently baptised the man’s children and soon after that, theContinue reading “Deacon Gary Stokes – Just Amazing”

A refuge in grief – Sr Meredith Evans RSM

Several weeks ago, Sr Meredith Evans rsm got a phone call. It was the 19-year-old son of her friend, to tell her that ‘Frances’ * mother had died. Frances was distraught. Could Sister Meredith come to see her? The two women had met eight years ago, when Frances was freed from a detention centre andContinue reading “A refuge in grief – Sr Meredith Evans RSM”

A priestless town – Anakie not anarchy

“If I don’t go to them, they will never know who Jesus is, or that they are loved by God.” So Anne Hatte witnesses in her tiny, struggling community, as she hopes to leave a legacy for the next generations. Anne lives with her husband on a farm in Anakie, the oldest town of Queensland’sContinue reading “A priestless town – Anakie not anarchy”

Faith Margins, Even in the City

I met Erick, now a Passionist priest, while we were studying theology together in Adelaide. He is a truly inspiring person and spiritual leader. While Fr Erick has been ordained as a priest, he was first ordained as a deacon. Even though this ‘transitional’ role often appears different to the permanent diaconate, priests continue toContinue reading “Faith Margins, Even in the City”

Patricia Smith – Voices to be Heard

Patricia Smith, who lives in Sydney on Darug and Guringai country, describes herself simply as a Catholic from birth with a deep love of the Eucharist. She sees herself primarily as a homemaker, a writer and a musician. Liturgical music is her way of serving her community, as a choir director, keyboard player and composer.Continue reading “Patricia Smith – Voices to be Heard”

Sr Gerri Boylan SGS – Striking Gold

The remote Western Australian gold-mining towns of Mount Magnet, Cue and Meekatharra are tiny, but very special. This is what the Good Samaritan Sister, Gerri Boylan, related to me, and I could hear the joy in her voice. Mount Magnet is 340km inland from Geraldton, the seat of the diocese, and 560km from Perth. MeekatharraContinue reading “Sr Gerri Boylan SGS – Striking Gold”

Liturgy on the Margins

Australian Diaconal Ministry, Present and Future Once upon an outback prison, there was a need. A yearning for spiritual support and motivation. And there were not enough ministers to provide it. But one day, the appeal from the bishop and priest chaplain received a response, and a volunteer started to visit one of the units.Continue reading “Liturgy on the Margins”

What is Diaconal Ministry?

This is a question that has much exercised my pondering neurons of late. There doesn’t seem to be a simple or universally-agreed answer. I’m bearing in mind that the current model of the ministry has only existed in the Roman Catholic Church since Vatican II in the 1960s, so it is still in the earlyContinue reading “What is Diaconal Ministry?”

Lydia – Dealing in Faith

There are only a few short verses about Lydia in the scriptures, but recently I was treated to a lecture all about her by Dr Rosemary Canavan of Catholic Theological College.1 It also gave us some great insights into the life and missionary work of Paul. By the way, Paul used the word diakonoi toContinue reading “Lydia – Dealing in Faith”

About Women in the Diaconate

There is a long history of women in the diaconate, starting with St Phoebe, named in Romans 16:1-2. A verse in 1 Timothy 3:11 also refers to the qualifications of women deacons.1 At the time, all ministries in the church were in development, and there were no clear structures or offices, such as the bishop/priest/deaconContinue reading “About Women in the Diaconate”