Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Permanent Diaconate - News and Events


Upcoming Events:

Future events will be displayed here as they become available.

Past Events:

Kick Off weekend – Friday 4 to Sunday 6 September 2020

The kick-off weekend for the Permanent Diaconate program of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle took place at Blackwell Grange, Darlington, from 4 - 6 September.

The new team led by Director of Formation Fr. Mark Millward, Bishop’s Liaison Fr. Jeffrey Dodds, and Team Members Fr. Simon Weymes and Deacon Vincent Purcell joined the session. New team member Fr. Ian Jackson could not join the kick off weekend. The three day session began with classes led by Deacon Vincent Purcell on 'Balance in Life and Ministry', on 'Spiritual Life and Ministry' by Fr. Simon Weymes and on 'Personal Story and Ministry' by Fr. Mark Millward. It concluded with 'Sharing Pastoral Experiences' led by Deacon Vincent Purcell and contributions from the trainee deacons.

On Friday evening there was a special felicitation for Pat Kennedy who had been the Coordinator of Studies for Permanent Diaconate in the diocese linking between Loyola University and the formation team. She was appointed by Bishop Ambrose since 1993 and continued in the role till summer 2020. She was given a fitting tribute to mark her distinguished services. Fr. Jeff Dodds spoke of her influence in his personal life and the motherly care she gave to the many services she did in this Diocesan role as a role model for many. Fr. Mark Millward thanked her for all the works she did during her time with the permanent diaconate team. A card was signed by all the priests and trainee deacons and was given to Pat with a gift. In her thanksgiving message Pat spoke about the fruitful time she spend in nurturing this ministry within the Diocese and thanked everyone.

Living In The Living Word of God’ – 21 to 23 February 2020

Over the weekend of 21 - 23 February the Trainee Deacons and Wives gathered for their Annual Retreat. This year it was led by Fr. John Farrell OP. The Theme was ‘Living In The Living Word of God

“This was an excellent weekend, lots to reflect upon, very fruitful, particularly the reflection on the Mass and the Chalice. It was aimed and both wives and Trainees, a weekend full of depth, a wonderful feeling of Community and filled with love. Excellent, reflective, thought provoking and inspiring. A great reminder of what a Deacon represents and how the Deacon reflects this to others as a calling to the fullness of Baptism and the calling into Ministry of each of us."

Just a few of the many feedback comments. Many thanks to all especially Fr. John.

Pat Kennedy MPS, member of Formation Team

Travelling Lightly’, A Day of Recollection for Diaconate Wives.

A group of Diaconate wives gathered together at St. Hilda’s Pastoral Centre on Saturday 16 November. The Day was led by Sr. Sheila Mc Namara.

It was felt to have been a special time of peace together, “uplifting as usual, it is definitely worth coming to, we get to know new faces and I’m hoping for more of such sessions in the future.

It was a special time , a day of peace and contemplation, refreshing, reflecting on our journeys, just what I needed. Thank you to Sr. Sheila for a very prayerful and enjoyable time together.

Pat Kennedy MPS, member of Diaconal Formation team

Candidature Mass – Wednesday 25 September 2019

Candidature Mass 2019

A Celebration Mass was held on Wednesday 25 September at St Joseph’s Sunderland. The Mass was to celebrate the entrance of three Candidates into the training programme for the Permanent Diaconate. The main celebrant was Bishop Robert and co-celebrants were the Parish Priests of the Candidates and also other clergy who had come along to support them, along with Parishioners from their various Parishes. Bong Nidea, Gareth Rowe and Bernie Walsh, and Carl Watson who is training for the Ordinariate, were supported by their families, Formation Team, fellow Deacons and also those still in training.

Pat Kennedy MPS, member of Formation Team