01 Oct 2022

Former analyst embraces rank of service

Deacon James Thomson

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Newly ordained deacon James Thomson experienced a “great sense of peace” as he prepared for the next big step in his journey to becoming a priest.

Ordained by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on Saturday September 3, Deacon James reflected on the events of the day after returning to Boston, USA, where he will complete his final year of studies.

“You always think in the back of your mind that on such a momentous occasion nerves might get the better of you, but this didn’t happen,” Deacon James told The Southern Cross.

01 Sep 2020

Church needs more deacons – Deacon Nick Kerr

The Southern Cross newspaper – September 2020

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Vocations to the permanent diaconate are growing faster than any other vocation in the Church.

In Australia the number of deacons is still small but it’s growing quickly. It could double or treble in the next 10 years.

Records show there were 94 deacons in Australia in 2009-2010 and now there are 217 – however the real growth has been in only a handful of dioceses, namely Adelaide, Sydney, Parramatta, Melbourne and Perth.

Some Australian dioceses have no deacons, some have only one or two. Some dioceses with deacons do little to promote vocations to the diaconate.

12 May 2019

Aspiring deacons inspire others

Tee Ping Koh and Alfred Donat

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In a major shift from his days as a pharmacist where the approach was “a pill for every ill”, aspiring deacon Tee Ping Koh’s now hopes his ministry as a hospital chaplain will show patients how God’s love can help them in their time of need.

On March 24 Tee Ping was installed as a Lector and Acolyte, and together with Alfred Donat from the African Catholic community both were admitted to diaconal candidacy by Apostolic Administrator Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ.

01 Apr 2018

New deacon ready to serve

Dr Paul Crowe

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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.

01 Dec 2017

Global focus for editor turned deacon

Deacon Nick Kerr


With his recent election to the world representative body for Catholic deacons, Nick Kerr has high hopes for increasing awareness about the ministry in Australia.

Current figures show there are 46,500 permanent deacons worldwide, but Australia has only 170 ordained – and Nick said many Catholics were still unsure about what a deacon does.

01 Oct 2017

Building on his teenage commitment to God

Deacon Andrew Kirkbride

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At age 18, surrounded by hundreds of other like-minded Catholics, Andrew Kirkbride had a watershed moment… he knew he wanted to use his talents to serve God but just didn’t know how that would unfold.

Three decades later, he sits comfortably in the roles God has chosen for him – as a deacon in St Ann’s parish, chaplain at Mercedes College, devoted husband to Libby and father to Charlotte, Julian and Oliver, while also running an architectural firm.

01 Sep 2017

An interrupted vocation

Deacon Arturo Jimenea

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After attending a junior seminary in his teenage years, the decision to follow the path to becoming a deacon nearly half a century later seemed like a way of tidying up unfinished business for Arturo Jimenea.

But even on the night before his ordination he admits he had doubts and he was not quite “100 per cent” sure that he was doing the right thing. As he attended the prayer vigil held at the Cathedral, Arturo still felt unsettled about the events that were going to take place the next day.

01 Jul 2017

Michael finds his niche

Deacon Michael Moore

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“Luckily there is a fair gap between us kids so we weren’t all there at the one time, but I remember we would have to all squeeze into the one pew as Mum and Dad wanted to make sure they could keep an eye on us,” he laughed.

Of Irish Catholic ancestry, Michael, 67, said fortnightly confession, weekly Sunday Mass and an education provided by the nuns were all part of his formative years and his deep faith led him to at one stage consider becoming a priest.

01 Jun 2017

Daryl kicking new goals

Deacon Daryl Hicks

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You might be asked to store their furniture in your garage, or perhaps put in a good word for them for a job… whatever the request you will know it is for a good cause – and you’ll probably end up coming to the party!

Such is the respect for the former star footballer and businessman who is now kicking much bigger goals in his ministry as a permanent deacon in the Elizabeth parish.

01 May 2017

Shane's changing world

Deacon Shane O'Dea

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Like all people with a physical impairment, Shane experienced the challenges of exclusion, abuse and being bullied from his earliest years, by both children and adults.

“I have witnessed various expressions of segregation, abuse, neglect, violence, discrimination and of being ‘invisible’,” the now 52-year-old recalled.