01 Apr 2018
New deacon ready to serve
Dr Paul Crowe
A retired orthodontist from Tasmania has been welcomed as the newest deacon in the Adelaide Archdiocese.
Dr Paul Crowe moved from Launceston to Adelaide with his wife Gordana in October last year, with Archbishop Wilson appointing him to the Cathedral parish in February.
It’s been a bit like “coming home” for the couple as Gordana was originally from Adelaide and Paul studied dentistry here, returning in the mid 80s to study orthodontics.
“It’s a very familiar place for me – especially the city and the southern suburbs,” Paul said, although he joked Google maps was “getting a real workout” late last year when they were renting a home north of the city.
Ordained for the Archdiocese of Hobart in 2011, Paul said like many others he really had no idea what being a deacon involved until he started doing some research.
Up until then he had been active in the Church as a member of the parish council, helped others on their faith journey through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program and was involved in several Catholic education organisations, but felt he wanted to serve God in an even greater capacity.
“We went through a couple of experiences that were cathartic in adult life and that included the loss of two babies before they were full term. That for me was a bit of a conversion experience and I felt the need initially to do something more, but I didn’t know what.
“One of the priests in the parish asked me had I thought about becoming a deacon.” Paul’s initial response was “what’s that?”.
After careful discernment he undertook theological studies through an online Masters degree in theology offered by the Broken Bay Institute, part of the Broken Bay Diocese and also attached to the Sydney College of Divinity. Paul also attended regular intensive sessions with other students and received other formation within the Archdiocese of Hobart.
Following his ordination he managed to juggle his work as an orthodontist and his ministry within his local parish, also serving as a chaplain for Vinnies State Council and extending his involvement in the RCIA.
However, ankle surgery and the inability to use the foot controls required in his work led to his retirement in 2016. With their five adult children scattered around Australia, the decision was made to move to Adelaide so Gordana could be closer to her elderly parents.
While they miss their friends and the beauty of Tasmania, Paul said Adelaide had much to offer – particularly the beautiful sunsets.
He is now looking forward to his ministry in the Cathedral parish, which will focus on the Burnside and Dulwich areas where he hopes he can provide a “stabilising presence” for those communities.