Transitional deacon meets permanents at National Conference
Australia's permanent deacons made a concerted effort to build bridges with the country's "transitional" deacons by inviting them to their recent National Conference held in Sydney.
Transitionals are ordained deacon as a step on their path to ordination as priests, while permanent deacons focus on the sacramental and pastoral ministry that is within the scope of the diaconate. This includes much of what the priestly ministry encompasses except the celebration of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Deacon Damien Ellis, a Vincentian to be ordained to the priesthood next year, accepted the invitation.
Deacon Elliott Casalegno commented that "Permanent" and "Transitional" Deacons are ordained to the same Order, and that distinctions should be put aside so that they can develop closer connections.
The Conference also sought to develop closer ties between permanent deacons and the National Council of Priests (NCP). It was proposed that the deacons form an Association and, with the agreement of the NCP Executive, Deacons would be represented on the NCP with a small Executive Group.
The proposed link would overcome the problem of the deacons being a small body witout the resources to maintain an autonomous body.
The Association of Deacons is seen as a means of eliminating the isolation experienced by many Deacons, many of whom have little contact with each other due to low numbers and great distances.
Australian National Deacons' Conference - 2003
Australian Catholic Deacons Association | Biennial Australian National Deacons' Conference
Deacons.net | A Brief History of the Permanent Diaconate
24 Dec 2003