Western Sydney’s newest deacons reflect on their first year in ministry
On 22 February 2019, the Catholic Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains was blessed with the ordination of four new permanent deacons.
Deacon John Cinya, Deacon Roque Dias, Deacon Thong Nguyen and Deacon Roderick Pirotta were ordained to the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Parramatta by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, on the Feast of the Chair of St Peter.
One year on from their ordination, Catholic Outlook spoke to the new deacons about what they have learnt and enjoyed in their first year in ministry.
Deacon Roque Dias, Parish of Baulkham Hills
Catholic Outlook: What has been a highlight of your first year as a permanent deacon?
Deacon Roque Dias: The highlight in my first year as a permanent deacon has been celebrating the Eucharist with the priest by proclaiming the Gospel and preaching God’s Word. Thereafter, visiting the sick in their homes and ministering to the aged in its facilities.
CO: How has your parish placement been?
RD: I am blessed to be in a parish where the parish priest knows exactly what the role of a deacon is. Secondly, it has been a privilege and an honour to be placed in a parish where there are two communities [St Michael’s and Our Lady of Lourdes] where you’re always welcomed.
CO: What has been something that you have learnt about yourself over your first year in ministry?
RD: I have learnt that nothing can be taken for granted. Prayer and being of service to the people of God in your parish and to the wider community will go a long way.
CO: How has your wife and family supported you through this first year of ministry?
RD: My wife and son are my true helpers in my ministry of service. My wife and son have been my greatest of companions on my journey. The deacon’s work is sometimes enormous. He needs a companion who is as dedicated to the cause of the Lord as he is.
CO: In an interview with Catholic Outlook ahead of your ordination, a question you had about the diaconate was “what role will I play in the Diocese of Parramatta?” How have you understood this role in the first year of your ministry?
RD: As a deacon, I am an ordained minister of the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Parramatta. I emphasise that there are three groups, or orders, of ordained ministers in the Church: bishops, presbyters and deacons. Deacons are ordained as a sacramental sign to the Church and to the world of Christ, who came “to serve and not to be served.” The entire Church is called by Christ to serve, and the deacon, in virtue of His sacramental ordination and through his various ministries, is to be a servant in a servant-Church.
CO: What do you hope your second year of being a deacon will bring?
RD: I hope that in my second year as a deacon, I will be able to bring people who have distanced themselves from the Church and from God for various reasons to be able to bring them closer to God through the Gospel and through service. As I said before my ordination, my vocation to the diaconate is to sit in the messiness of people’s lives.
To read Catholic Outlook’s interview with Deacon John Cinya, click here.
To read Catholic Outlook’s interview with Deacon Roderick Pirotta, click here.
To read Catholic Outlook’s interview with Deacon Thong Nguyen, click here.
For more information about the permanent diaconate in the Diocese of Parramatta, please visit: www.parracatholic.org/permanent-diaconate