Christian Celtic Cross (18Kb)
stjosephs catho;ic chiurch

a man of the parish of St Joseph's of Birtley, Tyne & Wear UK.

Deacon Peter Lavery (9Kb)(Photographs of Deacon Peter's ordination can be viewed below)
(Place your cursor over the photographs for a brief explanation)

On Saturday 11 June 2005, Peter Jones, Peter Lavery, Frank O’Neill and Vincent Purcell were ordained as Permanent Deacons by Bishop Kevin Dunn, at a ceremony held in St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne. The Permanent Deacons are the first ever in the Diocese and will rekindle an ancient tradition of the church. All four are married with families and each are empowered to minister in parishes alongside Priests and to carry out similar duties except for hearing confessions, anointing the sick and celebrating Mass.

The tradition of the Permanent Diaconate is over 2000 years old and its reintroduction to the North East was initiated in 1999 by Bishop Kevin’s predecessor, Rt Rev Ambrose Griffiths OSB.

Father Michael Whalen, Diaconate Director for the Diocese, explained;
‘These four men have undergone preparation and training over the last five years. Their commitment to the Church, the Diocese and the community is unswerving. They will, I am sure, become great assets. Deacons first and foremost, are servants to all - especially those in need. They work to achieve this themselves and by helping others to give generous service. They are, in effect, catalysts – supporting and growing the involvement of others.’

Peter Lavery is a member of the parish of St Joseph, Birtley, Tyne & Wear UK.

Peter Lavery, 54, supported by his wife Pauline, became Diocesan Co-ordinator for Marriage and Family Life. His role is to support the network of clergy and volunteers throughout the region who help others prior to, during and after marriage. Peter is a Chartered Surveyor and currently works with the Valuation Office Agency. They have three children, Helen, Michael and Rachel and three grandchildren, Nieamh, 4, Ciaran, 1, and Ellie, 3 months.

Photographs of Peter's ordination can be viewed below (place your cursor over the photographs for a brief explanation):

Lying prostrate before the altar (76Kb)
Kneeling before the altar (62Kb)
Bishop Kevin Dunn with the four newly ordained Deacons.  Peter Lavery far right. (89Kb)
Bishop Kevin Dunn with Deacon Peter Lavery and his wife Pauline. (70Kb)
Deacon Peter Lavery with his grandaughter Ellie.  (59Kb)
Bishop Kevin remarked:
‘To be conducting ceremonies of such importance as first ordinations is an immense privilege. The Permanent Diaconate is a unique institution; Bishop Ambrose showed great vision in its reinstatement. The Deacons, together with our new Priests Christopher and Mark, are the embodiment of practical linkage between community and clergy, parish and priest, secular and Church. This enrichment is of great importance in today’s world. We are challenged, daily, to question the relevance and role of religion in the relentless pace of our lives; I am confident that these men and their families will deliver immeasurable benefit across the diocese, both within the Catholic Church and through connection with our neighbours.

After each ceremony the ordinands, their families and connections will attend receptions hosted by Bishop Kevin in the grounds of the Cathedral.