Deacon Pat's Personal Message
After many years of discernment and prayer, and with the agreement of my wife Mireille, I was accepted by Archbishop Gervais to be ordained as a permanent deacon. The word "deacon" comes from a Greek word (diakonia) and means "Servant" and I am very thankful for the opportunity that God has given me to serve the people of Our Lady of the Visitation. As a permanent deacon, I assist Father Bill in the threefold diaconal functions: "the diaconia of the liturgy, the word and of charity".
As a Minister of Liturgy. I assist at the altar during Mass and am an ordinary minister of Eucharist. As a Minister of the Sacrament of Baptism, I assist in administering this beautiful sacrament here in the parish. As well, I can witness and bless marriages, officiate at wakes, funerals and burial services. In effect, as a Deacon, I can perform many priestly functions except celebrating Mass, hearing confessions, and anointing the sick.
As a Minister of the Word, I can proclaim the Gospel at Mass and preach the homily. I can also assist in the Parish as a teacher or facilitator at RCIA classes, retreats, baptismal classes for parents, prayer groups, and any number of catechetical situations. As a Minister of Charity, I am called to reach out to the poor, the sick, the prisoners, the aged, the lonely and the broken hearted. It is in this Ministry of Charity where I'm challenged the most in living out my diaconate calling.
One area that I feel drawn to minister to, in particular, is family life. In today's world, we see the breakdown of marriage and family life all around us. We live in a time where families need to be nurtured and encouraged. Pope Benedict recently praised the example of Catholic families with the following words: "If we see families nourished by faith, how they live in joy, how they live suffering in a deep and underlying joy, how they help others, loving God and their neighbour, this seems to me to be the most beautiful proclamation today," he said. "For me, the most comforting proclamation is always that of seeing Catholic families and Catholic individuals who are penetrated by faith: The presence of God shines forth in them."
I am also an associate deacon of the Madonna House community, situated in Combermere Ontario, where I receive spiritual direction and attend retreats. It is with the grace of God and the support of my wife and family, my pastor and friends that allows me to progress and move forward in balancing out my Christian life as a husband, a father, a worker and a deacon.
In closing, feel free to contact me at any time. I would be pleased to be of any help. God bless you and thank you for keeping me and my family in your prayers. Remember also our beautiful parish of OLV and our beloved Father Bill.