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New journey of service begins for Brisbane men ordained deacons

Joyful moment: Deacons Thomas Zaranski and Damien Everitt were ordained transitional deacons for the Archdiocese of Brisbane today. Photo: Emilie Ng.

SEMINARIANS Thomas Zaranski and Damien Everitt have made it to the final step before the priesthood after being ordained deacons today.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge ordained Deacon Zaranski, 31, and Deacon Everitt, 43, to the transitional diaconate in a Mass at Holy Spirit Chapel, at Banyo’s Australian Catholic University.

The ordination marks the final step before the two can be ordained priests, a journey that has been years in the making for both seminarians.

For Deacon Everitt, being ordained a deacon was a moment of exhilarating joy.

In 1992, immediately after finishing high school, Deacon Everitt entered the seminary, but confusion about his vocation led him to leave several years later.

He became a social worker but for two decades, the calling to the priesthood bubbled at the surface.

In 2015 Deacon Everitt re-entered the seminary with the hope he would become a priest, even if it took nearly 25 years.

“I’m feeling exceptionally proud to be joining the priests, to be working with the priests of the archdiocese of Brisbane,” Deacon Everitt said after his ordination.

“There are so many of them that I’ve got to know over the years that are here today and it’s just a wonderful moment for the Church.”

Deacon Everitt will work in the parishes of Banyo-Nundah alongside parish priest Fr Bernie Gallagher.

deacons litany of saints

Deacons Thomas Zaranski and Damien Everitt lay prostrate during the Litany of Saints. Photo: Alan Edgecomb.

Deacon Zaranski also spent years discerning the priesthood, giving up a dream job with the Queensland Treasury to pursue a higher calling.

He was a young boy when he first thought of becoming a priest “and as the years passed it became clearer”.

“I was discerning and listening to the Holy Spirit primarily, but also to the people who supported me throughout the years,” Deacon Zaranski said.

What the Holy Spirit said to him on his ordination day was “a powerful moment”.

“It was a bit surreal, really,” he said.

“In many respects the journey is starting anew.”

On the Feast day of Christ the King, Deacon Zaranski will head to the parishes of Manly and Birkdale to join Fr Frank Jones in ministering to the people in the “beautiful location there on the bay”.

Deacon Zaranski said the next several months as a deacon would be a time of prayer and study.

“There’s another period before my priestly ordination, God willing, and this will be another moment of learning really,” he said.

While Deacon Zaranski and Deacon Everitt have been ordained transitional deacons for the Archdiocese of Brisbane, tomorrow the community will pray for the first permanent deacon to be ordained in seven years.

Andrew O’Brien, who is general manager of Rosies in Brisbane, will be ordained for the permanent diaconate at St Stephen’s Cathedral at 11.30am tomorrow (November 11).

The Augustians in Brisbane will also celebrate a diaconate ordination in December for Vietnamese Br Dang Nguyen.

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