News & Events
Oct 24, 2017
On the path to the Permanent Diaconate
by Fr. John Laszczyk
There are four men preparing for the Permanent Diaconate within the Diocese and on Saturday, September 16, 2017, they gathered with their spouses for a day of reflection with Bishop Gary at St. Patrick’s Parish in Campbell River. John Dawson, Dion Pomponio, Michael Watkins, and Philip Yuson have been preparing for the past three years for their eventual (God willing) Ordination to the Diaconate. The candidate’s spouses are integral to the discernment process and participate in all the formation sessions. St. Patrick’s Parish community witnessed the Rite of Installation to the Ministry of Lector, which is a necessary and official step in the process. The ritual states:
As readers and bearers of God’s Word, you will take on a special office within the Christian community; you will be given a responsibility in the service of the faith, which is rooted in the Word of God. You will proclaim that Word in the liturgical assembly, instruct children and adults in the faith and prepare them to receive the Sacraments worthily. You will bring the message of salvation to those who have not yet received it. In proclaiming God’s Word to others, accept it yourselves in obedience to the Holy Spirit. Meditate on it constantly, so that each day you will have a deeper love of the Scriptures and in all you say and do show forth to the world our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
We are grateful for these men of faith, their spouses, and their families, and for your prayers for them, as they continue to journey toward Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate.
Permanent Diaconate Candidates and their spouses, with Bishop Gary Gordon
Meet the Permanent Diaconate Candidates
John and Heather Dawson
John Dawson and his wife Heather are members of St. Patrick’s parish in Campbell River. John is active in many ministries in the parish including: sacristan, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, Leader, Server, and was Catechist for the RCIA for many years. John and Heather have been married for 27 years and attend the 11 am Mass on Sundays, where Heather is a Leader as well. They are also caregivers for Brian Douglas, who lives with them and accompanies them to Mass. John is active in the Knights of Columbus, Special Olympics and likes to fish and work in the garden. John is currently working in Pastoral Care for the Sick at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox, counsels people with addictions, and is a member of the Board of Directors for 2nd Chance Recovery House in Campbell River. John is a ‘cradle Catholic’ who was raised in the faith and inspired by his mother Mary.
Dion and Kerry Pomponio
Dion Pomponio is first and foremost a disciple of Jesus Christ, husband, father, son, friend, and son of the Church. He and Kerry (of 28 years), have three children: Grace, Michaela, and Jonathan.
Dion was born in Prince Rupert, BC. His brother and parents still play central roles in his life. Dion is a CPA, CGA, and owns his own accounting practice. He is actively involved in his parish and the Diocese, where he sits on a number of parish and diocesan committees, including finance, Men's Faith and Fellowship Forum, and others.
Michael Watkins and Cynthia Bouchard
Michael Watkins and Cynthia have been married for 37 years and have three sons, and they have also been blessed with four grandchildren. Michael and Cynthia have been members of St. Joseph the Worker since 1991 when they moved from Montreal to Victoria.
Over the years, Michael has led liturgical music at St. Joseph the Worker Parish, as well as five years at Holy Cross Parish. Michael has been actively involved with Cynthia in facilitating Adult Formation programs including The Great Bible Adventure, Catholicism Series, Beloved, and Pivotal Players. Michael has supported several fundraisers for worthy causes by providing music for both parish and community events. He currently takes the role of Altar Server at St. Joseph the Worker Parish when required, and is involved with Hospital Ministry at both the Jubilee and General Hospital, working alongside Fr. Ian Stuart.
Philip and Marie Yuson
Philip Yuson and his family have been parishioners at St. Andrew's Cathedral since 1995 when they moved to Victoria. They normally attend the 9:30 am Sunday Mass. Philip has been married to Marie for 26 years and they are blessed with two children: Pauline and Joseph. The family migrated from the Philippines to Canada in 1994. Philip is involved in such ministries as teaching RCIA (Discovering the Catholic Faith) sessions, preaching to the El Shaddai Prayer Group, and a variety of liturgical ministries such as serving, reading, and functioning as an Extra-Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion. In the past, he has developed three courses and conducted them at the Cathedral: Come and See Jesus, Why Lord: God in the Midst of Suffering, and Come to Jesus: How to Pray Scripture. At the present time, Philip is also involved for the first 14 days of each month in ministry at Sacred Heart Parish under the direction of Fr. David Hogman.