Road to diaconate derailed after a few rough bumps

The Editor: I wish the 10 men in the Regina archdiocese all the best in their upcoming diaconate journey (PM, Aug. 27).

My husband and I were part of such a journey some years ago. In our situation the wives were highly encouraged to participate at every session except, of course, ordination.

At our first gathering, the wife of a deacon on a panel made a comment that disturbed and confused me: “You will see the dirty side of the church!”

Was she a prophet?

We completed three of the four years in the program and learned a lot. We were taught that a deacon is to be one who serves the People of God, not the image of the priest. We were taught that the primary role of a priest is that of reconciler. When a situation arose in our parish with an unknown visiting cleric taking advantage at the end of mass to push his own agenda, my husband politely said, “Father, I don’t agree with you.”

Those six words resulted in our expulsion from the program. We requested permission to complete the last year with no desire for ordination but were told that we would “confuse” folks.

Attempts to “reconcile” were denied by the very priest who gave us the definition.

We learned later that the above mentioned visiting priest had left the priesthood, but was later reinstated with limited faculty to a nursing home. While we got no assistance from our local parish or diocese, we do have a letter of apology from the vicar-general of the diocese from where this cleric served; he had no permission to be out of his designated area.

Developing a prayer life based on the daily office is something we continue to do. Asking questions (“Where are the women deacons?”) and challenging authority that wields “power over” — this has become our vocation in life. This is what the Spirit has ordained us for.

Once again I wish the Regina candidates all the best with a word of caution given to us by a priest: Don’t get “trapped” in the system. — Jacklynne Faragher-Guimond, Fort Frances, Ont.


Can human race settle differences without resorting to war?

The Editor: I am always edified by reading the Prairie Messenger. I was particularly interested in Tony Magliano’s well-rounded discussion about war (PM, Sept. 10).

When I read about the push by the U.S. to expand NATO bases in eastern Europe, and Russia streamlining their military arsenal, it makes me wonder if the human race will ever decide to settle their differences without resorting to killing one another.

Why can’t we listen to Jesus (whom Magliano titled the Prince of Peace) and our Pope Francis, or Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and the millions of people who sincerely yearn for peace?

One of the statistics in your informative editorial surprised me — “that half of the girls 15 to 19 felt that husbands may sometimes be justified in beating their wives.” Maybe that is a throwback to the Adam and Eve story!

In appreciation. — Leo Kurtenbach, Saskatoon

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