This move is part of the diocese’s plan to strengthen its presence and serve the Catholic community and the wider community.
The introduction of the permanent diaconate follows a positive response to the subject in the 2015 ‘Preparing the Way’ consultation document. 90% of the consultation responses were in favour of establishing the Permanent Diaconate in the diocese. The diocese is now taking enquiries from men who want to consider a vocation to the diaconate.
Fr. Philip Caldwell, Director of Diaconal Formation said: “We’re delighted to embrace the opportunity of beginning the Permanent Diaconate in Salford. Not only does this give us the chance to bless, through ordination, the work of certain men who have a desire to follow Christ, but this new ministry, itself, will make an invaluable contribution to the discussion of what it means for a parish to be missionary. The introduction of diaconal ministry into our diocese should help each one of us to reassess our own role in the service of Jesus and the spread of His Gospel.”
The Rt Rev John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, added: “2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the restoration of the diaconate by Pope Paul VI with the mandate of Vatican II. This anniversary offers an appropriate opportunity for us to begin formation for the Permanent Diaconate in Salford Diocese. It is important that we move together to set up an order of deacons in Salford based on a strategy relevant to the particular needs of our diocese, learning from experience in other places. I believe that in our Diocese we can form a complementary relationship of collaboration between priests, deacons and people, under the pastoral guidance of the bishop. We’re excited by this new pastoral initiative and look forward to welcoming our first diaconal candidates.”