The Grand Séminaire de l’Archidiocèse de Montréal is pleased to announce the ordination of Stéphane Germain to the transitional diaconate for the Diocese of Montreal. Mr. Germain will be ordained in a celebration with Auxiliary Bishop Alain Faubert of the Diocese of Montreal presiding on Friday, September 15, 2023, at 7:30 p.m., in the Parish of Saint-Luc.
What does “transitional” diaconate mean?
In the Catholic Church, the diaconate can be lived in either of two ways. The deacon who is chosen for the service of the Church may be ordained as a “transitional” deacon, meaning he intends to enter the priesthood, or as a “permanent” deacon.
A candidate who is ordained with the intention of becoming a priest pursues his formation in order to take up the ministerial priesthood. He will be authorized to preach at Eucharistic celebrations and to preside at baptisms and marriages. He is called to develop the ministry of collective prayer and to exercise his ministry among the poor and the less fortunate. The Church requires that the passage from transitional to permanent diaconate should be completed after a minimum of six months.
The sacrament of the order is comprised of three distinct ministries. In the rite of ordination for bishops, priests and deacons it is expressed as follows: “Thus the divinely established ecclesiastical ministry is exercised on different levels by those who from antiquity have been called bishops, priests and deacons. The bishops, “covered with the plenitude of the sacrament of the order” by the Holy Spirit that has been given to them in the ordination, “were constituted of true and authentic masters of the faith, pontiffs and pastors,” and as such, preside over the flock of the Lord’s in the person of the Christhead.” The function of the ministerial priesthood is to collaborate with the bishops in the pastoral ministry. The priests are invited, in the first place, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to all; and in the second place, they are charged with the celebration of the sacraments: particularly those of Baptism, Reconciliation, the Eucharist, Anointing of the Sick and Marriage; and in the third place they are to guide the Christian communities.
Deacons, in communion with the bishop and priests, receive the ministry of Service to the People of God for the Liturgy, the Ministry of the Word, and Charity.
There are several commitments made by deacons preparing for the priesthood: that of celibacy, celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours (also known as “the Breviary”), obedience to the bishop, the service of charity and the proclamation of the faith in the Tradition of the Church.
As the Rector of the Grand Séminaire de l’Archidiocèse de Montréal points out, “the deacon is the person who incarnates in his life the testimony of Christ the Shepherd, who announces the Word of God to all, and especially to those inhabiting the peripheries of our world. He is called to the ministry of charity, paying particular attention to the sick, the poor and those who are excluded. He is called to the service of the altar to remind us that the servant’s model is always Christ.”
About Stéphane Germain
Born in Quebec City in 1975, Stéphane Germain grew up in a family of three children and was surrounded by cousins, uncles and aunts a large and tightly knit family. Over time, while most members of his family were dropping off from observing Sundays, the teenaged Stéphane would ask his parents to drive him to church to attend Mass, coming home afterwards on his own.
He was confirmed at the age of 12 and for two years was part of a youth group that met regularly to study the Bible – a habit that he has since kept up. At 18 years of age, he became acquainted with a lay community based in France, and he left to live with them for one year, where he learned the prayer of the Psalms and got to know Christians who were seriously committed to practising their faith in the world. He studied cultural animation before returning to Quebec with the inspiration to transform the world through theatre. Once settled in Montreal, he became involved in the Centre Étudiant Benoît-Lacroix in the role of animator, and here he met many other young people who were hungry for the Word of God. With them he created events and activities with the aim of deepening their spiritual relationship with Christ and the Church, meanwhile developing a growing awareness of his gifts for teaching, offering accompaniment and bringing people together.
He was 25 years old when he received the call to the priesthood, but he was not yet ready to respond to it. He continued to explore religious life in his association with the Capuchins, leaving after completing his novitiate.
The conviction that the theatre was one of the most effective means for developing human relations with a Christian spirit, he did university-level theatre studies in Chicoutimi. In 2007, he again felt the strong call to the priesthood; he decided to enter the Monastic Communities of Jerusalem (Fraternités monastiques de Jérusalem), becoming involved first in Montreal and later in Paris. Founded on the basic elements of monastic life, including silence, lectio divina and of course regular prayer, this important experience lasted seven years, until in 2014, during a retreat in Burgundy, he at last embraced the call to the priesthood and the impulse to work as a priest in Quebec. A year of transition followed, in which he began studies in philosophy, worked as a catechist and member of a pastoral team, and led a youth group.
Now, he has completed seven years of preliminary studies at the Grand Séminaire. For Stéphane, “Christian life is a path to liberation (…), making us more human and more divine.”
The Church’s current situation and the spiritual life of the people of Quebec are of concern to him, but he chooses to move forward with confidence, certain that the Lord is leading his Church and that He will provide all that is needed to those who want to follow and serve Him in perseverance and humility.
Stéphane Germain’s ordination to the transitional diaconate will take place on Friday, September 15, at 7:30 p.m. at Saint-Luc Parish, located at 106A Anselme-Lavigne, Dollard-des-Ormeaux QC H9A 1N8. Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Montreal Msgr. Alain Faubert will be presiding, and the ceremony will be livestreamed on the Diocese of Montreal’s YouTube channel.
About the Grand Séminaire de l’Archidiocèse de Montréal
Since 1840, the chief mission of the Grand Séminaire de l’Archidiocèse de Montréal has been the formation, in conjunction with the Prêtres de Saint-Sulpice, of priests with a deep devotion to Jesus Christ. It is a centre for basic general formation in philosophy, theology and pastoral care, training future priests and permanent deacons, as well as welcoming religious and lay persons from Montreal and the environs, through a partnership with the Université de Laval’s faculty of theology and religious sciences. The Grand Séminaire de l’Archidiocèse de Montréal also offers a program for the formation of the permanent diaconate. The Grand Séminaire has been established in its new quarters since 2020, where it embraces the human dimension of life in the parish of Saint-Arsène, located in the midst of the popular neighbourhood of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie. To learn more, please visit the official website: gsam-montreal.org
Please address any questions or requests for further information to:
Press Officer, Office of the Archbishop
Director, Communications and media relations
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal