By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News
Men from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon and the Archdiocese of Regina recently gathered at Blue Mountain for a retreat as they begin another year of discernment, prayer and formation.
Vicar General Fr. Kevin McGee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon is among those accompanying the “cohort” from the two dioceses as they journey together through a formation process.
Although the Archdiocese of Regina has ordained permeant deacons, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon has never before ordained permanent deacons, but has only enjoyed the service of transitional deacons on their way to orination as priests, or permanent deacons ordained in other dioceses.
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 35 years or older, or to single men over 25 years of age.
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.