Three candidates are on the path to becoming Deacons in the Diocese of Saskatoon

Formation for Permanent Deacons is underway in the diocese of Saskatoon: Fr. Kevin McGee (left) is pictured at Queen's House with candidates Nicholas Blom, Ryan LeBlanc and Paul Wheeler (l-r).

By Kiply Lukan Yaworski

Formation is underway for three men who are discerning a call to the Permanent Diaconate.

Although a number of deacons from other dioceses have served here, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon has never before ordained permanent Deacons.

Fr. Kevin McGee, diocesan Vicar General, is overseeing the formation now underway for candidates Nicholas Blom, Ryan LeBlanc and Paul Wheeler. All three are graduates of the diocesan JOY program — a Justice and Outreach Year of Formation open to all, which was identified as a predatory year for those discerning a call to the permanent diaconate.

A 1998 Vatican declaration about the Formation of Deacons states: “The permanent diaconate, restored by the Second Vatican Council, in complete continuity with ancient tradition and the specific decision of the Council of Trent, has flourished in these last decades in many parts of the Church — with promising results, especially for the urgent missionary work of new evangelization.”

As with other Holy Orders, the discernment process for Permanent Deacons involves both the candidate and the faith community.

The permanent diaconate is open to married men over 35 years of age, and single men over 25 years of age – but details about how permanent deacons are formed and how they function varies from diocese to diocese. After a  discernment process launched by then-Bishop Donald Bolen, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon began planning for a permanent diaconate program in 2015.