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Permanent Diaconate

Thank you for your interest
in Diocesan Diaconate Formation/ diocésain pour le Diaconat 

From our Director:

After Vatican 11, Pope Paul V1, re-instated the Permanent Diaconate open to married men. There is a distinction between “transitional” diaconate for those preparing for Priesthood and Permanent Diaconate. The Permanent Diaconate is a distinct call to serve the Church in a three-fold ministry of Altar, Word and Charity with the emphasis upon service ministry to the marginalized.

We have ordained 17 Permanent Deacons and incardinated one for a total of 18 deacons plus one candidate in formation. In the year of 2021 we celebrate 10 years of diaconate in our diocese with a whole year of recognizing this gift to our Church.

This  page offers you a lot of information about the Diaconate and our formation process. If you are interested in learning more about us, please contact us at the Diocesan  Pastoral Center, by email or by phone 902-539-6188 (toll free 10-800-656-5311) ext. 235 or cell 902-578-4375.

 I ask your prayerful support for our deacons, candidate, spouses and families. God bless you.


Rev. Bedford Doucette
Director, Permanent Diaconate

What is the Permanent Diaconate?
The program director, deacons and the clergy with who they serve discuss here:
Discerning the Permanent Diaconate?
Download our brochure for more information:
Deacons In Action newsletter
On Being a Deacon:
Deacons from our diocese share their stories:
What is a Permanent Deacon?
See this video from the Archdiocese of Edmonton:
Permanent Diaconate Formation Team

Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick
Rev. Bedford Doucette, Chair
Rev. Duaine Devereaux
Rev. Mr. Berkley Guthro
Mrs. Jessie Guthro
Ms. Gladys MacDougall
Rev. Colin MacKinnon
Rev. Paul MacGillvray
Rev. Mr. Leo Penny
Mrs. Viola Penny
Mr. Wayne Yorke

Formation Program


  1. A four-year program of 10 weekends a year including a retreat
  2. Years’ Accents: i.Foundations, ii.Christology, iii.Ecclesiology, iv.Pastoral
    Each weekend to include: human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral elements
  3. Another Saturday in the month is set aside for such courses as Ministry in the Christian Tradition, Sacraments, Adult Education, Biblical Foundations, etc. for those who did not take the St. F X Diploma in Ministry
  4. Spouses expected to be in attendance each weekend with their husbands
  5. Teachers are expected to submit an outline of their courses. They can also ask for reflection papers from candidates to indicate their involvement in their courses
  6. Teachers to include  deacons, laymen/women, religious and priests
    Spiritual direction and, if needed, counseling for candidates
  7. A Time of internship: shadowing a deacon/pastor/parish/ministry with mentor
Formation Courses

Courses include:

          Theological Foundations Scripture Diocesan Policies
          Personal Development Prayer Pastoral Care
          History Church Issues Eschatology Contemporary
          Diaconate Liturgy of Hours Liturgy Praying Psalms
          Christology Ecumenism Canon Law
          Spirituality Morals Homiletics
          Ecclesiology Vatican  II/CCC Mariology
          Presiding Social Teachings Sacraments

Year One     - Foundations

Theological Foundations

History and Theology of the Diaconate

Introduction to the Hours:

Prayer of the Church

Personal Growth and Human Development


Principles of Pastoral Care

Introduction to Sacred Scripture

Lord Teach Us To Pray


Self-Awareness, Myers Briggs


Philosophy and Life

Death and Dying



Year Two     - Christology

Vatican II

Scripture: New Testament/Synoptics


Moral Theology

History of the Church


Scripture: Gospel of St. John


God: Trinity






Eastern Churches


Year Three  - Ecclesiology

Canon Law



Scripture: St. Paul



Social Teaching of the Church


Diaconal Spirituality

Hot Button Issues


Year Four    - Pastoral

Social Justice

Pastoral Care


What Deacons Need to Know about Sacraments


Diaconal Issues: Guidelines of Diocese, National Directory, Ordination, Deacons Manual

Saturday Sessions on Presiding at all sacraments at which Deacons preside

Five-Day Retreat


Ministry Protocols re Abuse

Marriage Tribunal

Diocesan Finances and Structures

Visit to Pastoral Centre offices

Faith Formation

Hospital Pastoral Visit

Liturgy of the Word in Anticipation of Eucharist

Feelings Around Abuse Scandals


Social Skills

Saturday Practicums: Baptism, marriage, Funerals, Liturgy of the Word in Anticipation of Eucharist, Morning and Evening Prayer (cathedral)



Rev. Bedford Doucette
Director, Permanent Diaconate
ph (902) 539-6188 or toll-free 1-800-656-5311 extension 235
fax (902) 539-7195

Diocesan Pastoral Centre
200 Churchill Drive, Suite 103
Membertou, NS

PO Box 100
Sydney, NS B1P 6G9



September 16, 2011 Ordination

September 14, 2012 Ordination