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Council members Deacon John Collins, left, Sandra Carroll, Deacon Tony Hoban, Deacon Nicephorus Tan, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Deacon Wilfredo (Willy) Limjap, Deacon Roderick (Rod) Pirotta and Deacon Michael Tan (Diocese of Parramatta)

The Diocese of Parramatta has become home to the first Diaconate Council in the Catholic Church in Australia. Source: Catholic Outlook.

The Council, which had its first meeting this month, will serve as an advisory body to the bishop regarding the formation, ministry and life of deacons and their wives in the diocese.

Deacon Tony Hoban, the newly appointed Vicar for Deacons, said this is an “exciting new phase” in the life of the diaconate community.

“It was originally Bishop Vincent’s idea to establish a council,” he said. “He’s very supportive of our community and what we bring to the diocese and wanted to utilise the gifts and talents of our community.”

Having a deacon as Vicar for Deacons provides opportunities for leadership from within the diaconate community, he said.

The Diocese of Parramatta has one of the country’s largest communities of permanent deacons and their wives. It has been providing consecutive formation for deacons for 17 years.

The diocese has 18 active deacons serving in ministry, with another six men in formation. It is also supporting two men in formation from the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

The membership of the council is comprised of four deacons in ministry – Deacons Wilfredo (Willy) Limjap, Michael Tan, John Collins and Nicephorus Tan – and one wife or widow of a deacon – Sandra Carroll. Deacon Hoban will be the chairperson of the council, and alongside Deacon Rod Pirotta, the new Director of Diaconate Formation, will act as ex-officio to the council. Bishop Long is the president of the council.


Diocese of Parramatta home to first Diocesan Diaconate Council in Australia (By Mary Brazell, Catholic Outlook)