If you feel you may have a calling to the Sacred Priesthood, Permanent Diaconate, or the Religious Life, speak to the Parish Priest in the first instance.
Alternatively, please contact the Diocesan Vocations Director. Details can be found here.
The Permanent Diaconate
On Saturday 7 May 2011 St. Raphael’s parishioner, Peter Sebastian, was among five men in the diocese of Southwark who were “admitted to candidacy” for study and formation for the Permanent Diaconate. In other words, they were admitted to the programme of study and preparation to become a deacon. What is a deacon? The term “deacon” means “servant” (from the Greek), assisting the bishop, the priest, his brothers and sisters and the Church as a whole.
As such, a deacon plays his part in the three-fold ancient ministry of the Church, to be a witness to our Lord Jesus Christ by:
(1) Proclaiming the Gospels, preaching and teaching – ministry of the Word;
(2) Assisting the priest at the altar in Liturgy (the Mass) – ministry of the Altar;
(3) Serving through acts of charity and administration his local parish and community, living the Social Teaching of the Church – ministry of Charity.
A deacon is ordained to Holy Orders and is a member of the Catholic clergy, but a deacon is not a priest. All priests are first ordained deacons before they are ordained priests, and all bishops are first ordained to the diaconate and then to the priesthood before they are ordained bishops. The Permanent Diaconate is for men at any stage in their life, whether married or single.