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:

Living In The Living Word of God’ – 21 to 23 February 2019

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

Kick Off weekend – Friday 6 to Sunday 8 September 2019

Trainee Deacons of the Permanent Diaconate Community together with their wives and members of the Formation team met over the weekend of 6 - 8 September to begin a new year. New additions to the group for the four year training journey are Andy and Lisa French, Alison and Joby Rebello and Patrick and Rosanna Rutherford.

Time shared included business, training and social time to get to know each other and form a support group for the journey. Input was given by Fr Sean Hall, Deacon John Hawthorne, Pat Kennedy, and Deacon Kevin Atkinson and his wife Oonagh. Mass was celebrated by Fr David Russell.

Kevin and Oonah shared the story of their journey, their calling into the Dance/Signing Ministry with “More than Dance”, Kevin’s calling eventually into the Diaconal Ministry and Oonagh’s into Counselling. They followed this with an opportunity for all to learn and to join in one of their Prayer Dance Movements. All joined in, some were very moved by it, and then requested that a longer Workshop be arranged for a later date.

Everyone agreed that this once again had been a very good beginning for their year.

"This was a wonderful experience, a great opportunity to meet the others and bond together and make new friends"

"A great experience, thank you"

"Relaxing stimulating and reassuring. Great to be able to meet everyone, ask Questions and share our stories”

“This time has been exceptional, all input excellent, and Kevin and Oonagh’s sharing was inspirational.”

“As a wife I love these opportunities to come together. It’s great to feel we belong and are included. This weekend has been even more inspiring and fulfilling.”

“It’s good to feel challenged , to dream a different dream and to imagine the Church of the future – this weekend has done this and enables us to encourage each other. It has been a powerful, spirit filled weekend. We have been called to Missionary Discipleship, called to look at change and growth, called to be vulnerable and to empty ourselves in order to be refilled, and all of which will lead us to fulfilment. Thanks to all for this opportunity and experience.”

“I came with an open mind. I have found the unexpected and thoroughly enjoyed it, with great insights and a calling to discernment. Thanks to Fr David Russell for his Sermon at Mass and to all who have been part of this inspirational time.”

“My first time – but the love and support has been amazing.”

“Great to experience the many strands of the Diaconate, as a group, including wives, we bring so much to each other as a Community and to the Church. Kevin and Oonagh’s creativity was a great witness to me as to how open and adaptable we need to be and to share the Word in so many different forms.”

Pat Kennedy MPS, member of Formation Team

Ministries Mass – Tuesday 16 July 2019

On Tuesday 16 July at St. Joseph's Church, Hartlepool, Bishop Robert celebrated Mass to mark the movement of Jeremy Cain (Holy Family, Hartlepool), Sibby Thomas (St. Joseph's, Sunderland) and Neil Haggerstone (Our Lady of the Rosary, Peterlee) from Candidate to Lector in their training for the Permanent Diaconate. They were accompanied by family, friends, Parish priests, members of the Diaconate Community, parishioners and the Formation Team.

Pat Kennedy MPS Coordinator of Studies.

Ministry Mass 2019