On last Sunday 9th March, Bishop Peter Stasiuk, C.Ss.R. ordained Richard Charlwood to the diaconate at the parish of St John the Baptist at Maylands during the 9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy. Bishop Peter was assisted by Fr Wolodymyr Kalinecki, parish priest of Maylands and Fr Brian Kelty, Vicar for Evangelization of the Ukrainian Eparchy. Concelebrating priests included: Fr Kevin Cummins from the Melkites, Marist Fr Steven Truscott and Servite Friar, Fr Chris Ross. Father Valentyn from the neighbouring Ukrainian Orthodox Parish was also present. Dom Brian, monk of New Norcia represented his community.
Richard’s only brother, Geoffrey, travelled from Sydney to be with him. Their mother was unable to travel due to ill health. Two of Richard’s godsons attended. There were also present other interstate visitors, and many friends of Richard.
Parish councillors and regular parishioners filled the Church for this joyful celebration
In his homily Bishop Peter outlined the duties and responsibilities of the deacon, drawing on the Synod of Ukrainian Catholic Bishops 1987 meeting in Rome which drew up the job description of a deacon. Bishop Peter stated that in the first place the deacon carries out liturgical functions prescribed in the liturgical books which describe the Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine Rite. In this way the deacon assists priests and the bishop who celebrate the Divine Liturgy.A deacon is also able to preach the Word of God. Under the direction of the parish priest, the deacon has an obligation to become involved in all aspects of parish life, especially with the ill, the poor and the most abandoned. The bishop or the parish priest may assign the following duties to the deacon:
To serve the Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine Rite in most things except for the consecration of the Divine Gifts (i.e. the bread and wine).
He can baptise but cannot chrismate (confirm).
He can distribute Holy Communion even outside of Divine Liturgy. He can visit the sick in homes and hospitals.
He can prepare people for death but he cannot hear their confessions or anoint them in their last hours.
He can conduct other services including the Eucharistic Typica, Acathists and Molebans.
He can bless water, graves, flowers, fruit, icons, church banners, flags and so on.