Largest ever gathering of Parramatta diaconate community

12 February 2022
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, poses for a photograph with members of the permanent diaconate community of the Diocese of Parramatta. Image: Supplied.


A great sign of the growing life and vitality of the permanent diaconate community in the Diocese of Parramatta occurred on 4 February, with a gathering at St Joseph’s, Baulkham Hills.

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, hosted a dinner with existing deacons and their wives, those in formation and the diaconate formation panel members.

Traditionally, Bishop Vincent hosts an annual Mass and dinner around the time of the Feast of St Lawrence for deacons and their wives. However, COVID restrictions have prevented this in the last few years. So, the occasion of a diaconate formation weekend served as the occasion for Bishop Vincent to gather with those in formation as well as existing deacons and their wives for a dinner.

Given the growth in the number of ordained deacons and those in formation, this was the largest ever Parramatta diaconate community gathering ever held in the diocese.

The Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of Parramatta is growing faster than any other Diocese in Australia. There are currently 14 active deacons in the diocese, along with one deacon on extended leave and two retired deacons. In addition, there are 14 men in formation and most of their wives are also active in the formation process.

Bishop Vincent reiterated his support for the diaconate as a model for ministry in mutuality. He said it is important to have deacons in the church, not due to a shortage of priests, but because of the unique qualities of ministry and service that deacons offer the Church.

The formation of deacons in the Diocese of Parramatta is supported by a Vocations team of two deacons and their wives. There is also a Formation Panel comprising three deacons, one deacon’s wife, two priests and one lay woman.

Director of Formation, Deacon Tony Hoban, said “It is a wonderful time to be part of the diaconate community in our Diocese. We have a growing number of people in our deacon ranks and in our formation program.

“We have a Bishop who sees the capacity of deacons to serve in a variety of capacities, including as pastoral leaders of Parishes.

“We are also hosting the National Association of Deacons Conference here in October of this year which will bring deacons and their wives from across the country to Baulkham Hills for a four day gathering.” (See further details here:’%20National%20Conference%202022.pdf )

The diaconate is a vocation open to both single and married men. Deacons serve in parishes as well as in a variety of other ministries and chaplaincies.

Anyone with an interest in exploring this vocation can contact the Vocations team via


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