Cardinal Thomas Collins and Bishop Vincent Nguyen join the eight new deacons for the Archdiocese of Toronto for a photo May 24. The deacons are, from left, Timothy Dunlop, John Brown, Delbert Allan, Paul Ma, Raphael Sumabat, Peter Takaoka, Stephan Brunck and Richard Te. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Toronto.

Eight ordained to Toronto's permanent diaconate

  • May 25, 2014

TORONTO - On May 24 eight men entered St. Paul's Basilica in Toronto only to leave a short time later as the archdiocese's newest deacons.

“This dimension, this facade of the sacrament of Holy Orders is profoundly important in our community of faith,” said Cardinal Thomas Collins, who presided over the ordination ceremony. “We pray that those to be ordained deacons will be effective in action, gentle in ministry and constant in prayer. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what your preach.”

The eight men joining the permanent diaconate are Delbert Allan, John Brown, Timothy Dunlop, Paul Ma, Raphael Sumabat, Peter Takaoka, Richard Te and Stephan Brunck.

About 700 people attend the 10 a.m. service. For Brunck the day was a celebration of joyful peace.

“Being in the church, being around the church community was something that gave me peace,” said Brunck. “Being in the presence of the Lord, being in the church itself, were peaceful and joyful experiences for me. So that peace and joy in the Lord is what drew me here.”

He will serve the Sts. Martha and Mary parish community in Mississauga, Ont., by ministering at the local retirement home.

“As deacons we are serving God and we are serving His people so being that servant that might become the face of the community that cares for the people, being the helper in God's ministry, that can only be my accomplishment,” said Brunck. “What is very instrumental to the role of the deacon is serving the community and serving the priest.”

While the deacon's work is noble, Collins stressed that parishioners must pray for the deacon's family as well for they too are making a great sacrifice through these ordinations.  

“Think of their wives and families who are such a part of their ministry,” said Collins.

Brunck seconded that notion.

“I would like to empathize the importance of my wife and the importance of the wives,” he said. “As deacon candidates and now as deacons they, our wives, are very important in our personal and also spiritual support. The two best decisions of my life were getting married to my wife and entering the diaconate.”

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