Permanent Diaconate


Might God be calling you to serve as a permanent deacon?

  • Do you have a deep commitment to your Catholic Faith and your prayer life?
  • Are you committed to your family and work – faithful to your responsibilities and generous with your time?
  • Do you have a strong desire to serve others, in the Church and in the wider community?
  • Have others suggested that you might consider the permanent diaconate to be a vocation for you?
  • Do you think you are not good enough, or capable enough, to become an ordained minister?

Perhaps God is calling you……….

Why not have a chat with your parish priest? He will be able to help you to discern whether or not you should consider applying to be accepted onto the formation programme for the permanent diaconate. If you know any deacons it would be helpful to talk to them, and their wives if possible, about what it means to be a deacon.

Current students:

Jose Estrocio

Jose Estrocio

Jose, his wife Rosa and children Jessica, Jason and Javin migrated from Goa in India and settled permanently in Swindon in 2003. Jose worked as a Systems Manager for the Inter* Continental Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and gave up his career in 1991 to care for and support his terminally ill father who passed away in 2002. In 1996 Jose experienced God’s divine intervention when his daughter Jessica was miraculously healed of her severe head injuries, sustained in an accident, and ever since has committed his life to love and serve the community. More recently he worked as a cleaner at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and is keen to work in a Care Home, he is an active member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Conference of St. Michael’s Church in Taligao, in Goa, India, and Holy Rood Catholic Church in Swindon, UK. Jose began his diaconate formation in September 2013 and in his discernment requests our prayers, asking God to show us opportunities for announcing the message and proclaiming the mystery of Christ.

Paul Thompson

Paul Thomson

At Holy Family in Swindon, Paul is involved in a number of activities including fund raising and parish finance in addition to reading at Mass and taking communion to the sick and housebound. He is also involved in the local ecumenical partnership. Following his conversion to the Catholic faith a number of years ago, Paul started his diaconal formation in September 2014. He lives in Swindon, is married to Maria and has three children and four grandchildren. Among his interests outside of Church are birdwatching, photography and nowadays is a keen armchair sports enthusiast.  Paul works for a Housing Association based in Wiltshire.
If you would like more information, please contact Fr Christopher Whitehead, Director of Formation for the permanent diaconate, on , by writing to him at Alexander House, 160 Pennywell Road, Bristol, BS5 0TX or calling 0117 902 5595