Brett Salkeld

Regina latest diocese to launch diaconate program

By  Frank Flegel, Canadian Catholic News
  • August 28, 2014

REGINA - The Archdiocese of Regina has launched its inaugural diaconate course, with 10 men taking their first steps towards becoming permanent deacons. 

The course was set to begin Aug. 29 and archdiocesan theologian Dr. Brett Salkeld couldn’t be more pleased. 

“We’re really excited. We’ve got 10 great guys who really want to serve,” said Salkeld. 

The men range in age from 40-65, with most in their 50s, said Salkeld. The 10 were among 30 individuals who expressed an interest in taking the 40-weekend course over four years. 

“Eighteen applications were received and 10 are actually taking the course,” said Salkeld. 

Four applications were rejected for various reasons and another four were deferred and encouraged to apply again in four years. Four of the 10 are from Regina and one each from Moose Jaw, Cabri, Melville, Kensoee Lake, Raymore and Lumsden. Salkeld said the 10 have already received some reading material and there have been online discussions over the summer in preparation for the first meeting at St. Michael’s Retreat House in Lumsden, Sask. 

Arrangements have been made with Newman Theological College in Edmonton to accept some of the diaconate course offerings as credit toward either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in theology for those who might be interested. 

“We cover a whole gamut of things — academic, spiritual, human formation. I’ll be teaching theology and ethics and we’ll have people in to do Scripture and Church history and canon law. We’ll also be developing consistency in prayer life.” 

Deacons have to read daily morning and evening prayers known as the daily office. They’ll also be following the practice of reading daily Scripture as provided in the lectionary. In the third year of their studies, Salkeld expects, they will be doing some service ministry in the community, and he gave as examples chaplaincy or working with immigrants or prison ministry. 

“We’ll be discerning with the guys their own call to different areas of service within our community.” 

It’s not strictly mandated but wives are encouraged to attend and he indicated that all will attend the course with their husbands. 

Following their ordination as permanent deacons, each will be assigned a parish and have a liturgical role to play, said Salkeld. 

The diocese pays tuition and other expenses for the candidates, but after ordination deacons are expected to perform 10 hours a week of service for the Church that is not remunerated. 

“We pay up front for their training but they agree up front to work afterward without pay.” 

(Prairie Messenger) 

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