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:

Tom Osman

Tom Osman

 

Tom has been living in Portishead, North Somerset, for three and a half years with his wife, Nicola, thoroughly enjoying the friendly people and picturesque location. He has worked in education for 5 years, mostly in primary schools, after qualifying as a middle years’ teacher in 2008. He now works in St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School, Filton, as a Learning Support Assistant for a visually-impaired boy in Year 4. In his spare time, Tom plays the trombone in a local band as well as playing bass guitar with the Praise and Worship team (New Awakenings) at Bristol University Chaplaincy Centre. He also likes spending time with his family and his wife’s family. He is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion at his local parish, St Joseph’s, and coordinates activities for young people in the parishes of St Joseph’s, Portishead, St Francis, Nailsea, and Immaculate Conception, Clevedon, in a group called NCP4Y (Nailsea, Clevedon and Portishead for Youth).

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.

Andrew Bent

Andrew Bent

I was born in the beautiful sunny Isle of Jamaica in December 1965, the second of eight children for my parents.  I migrated to the United Kingdom in December 1993 and studied Theology, Communication and Women’s Studies at Simon of Cyrene Ecumenical Theological Institute in London and in 1997 did further studies at Trinity Theological College in Bristol.
I have been a parishioner of St Nicholas Church, Lawford’s Gate, for 13 years and served in the parish school as site manager for 11 years.

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson

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.

Stephen McKernan

Stephen McKernan

Stephen has been a Head for over ten years both in the State and Independent sectors.  He has been Headmaster of St Edward’s Prep School since 2011 and his parish is Sacred Hearts in Charlton Kings.  He is also a Schools’ Inspector for ISI ( Independent Schools’ Inspectorate).    He is married to Sharon, who works as an Anaesthetic Nurse, and they have three daughters who are all thriving from a St Edward’s education, both in the Prep School and Senior School. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors with the family and has a miserable golf handicap of 18.  Stephen’s guiding Saint is St Anthony as he frequently loses his keys!

 

If you would like more information, please contact Fr Christopher Whitehead, Director of Formation for the permanent diaconate, on diaconal.formation@cliftondiocese.com , by writing to him at Alexander House, 160 Pennywell Road, Bristol, BS5 0TX or calling 0117 902 5595