The Deaneries and Deans (2008)



The purpose of the deanery structure is NOT legislative.

The deanery exists in order to foster good spiritual development of the faithful locally, and to facilitate communication and mutual support between the parishes, and the episcopate - particularly in view of the vast territory of Canada.

The description of the responsibility of the dean outlines the supervisory, and medicinal character of the office - but once again, the dean is in place to AID communication with the bishop. He us also to be the first instance - not only of appeal, but of paternal, healing support.

Areas in which the dean, officers, and assembly may fulfil this role include :

Any enabling of cooperative effort by parish communities to develop spiritual, and catechetical maturity in the faithful ; e.g.

  • Youth retreats, camps, activities
  • Encouragement of monastic life
  • Retreats
  • Seminars
  • Development of ministries of laity
  • Projects for relief of the poor, and needy

In all cases, it must be remembered that the blessing, and protection of the ruling bishop is necessary for proper functioning of everything.

Article IX

1. Deaneries

Deaneries are specified districts within the boundaries of a diocese, which are established by the Diocesan Council (Art. VIII/5) ...

2. The District Deans

The District Dean is the priest who is the head of a deanery.

While subordinated to the Diocesan Bishop, he has the responsibility of leading the life of the deanery, and is the first instance of appeal, when disputes arise.

3. Competence, and Duties

Subject to the instructions of the Diocesan Bishop, the District Dean has competence in :

  1. Directing the affairs of the deanery
  2. Supervising the activities of the clergy of the deanery
  3. Giving directives, and explanations in matters of pastoral services, with the right to direct, counsel, and admonish, in a strictly PRIVATE. and CIRCUMSPECT manner, rectors, and clergymen within his deanery, whenever their personal conduct, or manner of discharging duties, indicates the need of such action
  4. Receiving, and investigating complaints against rectors, or other clergymen, as well as protests against the decisions of the parish bodies, which complaints, or protests, he submits with his report to the Diocesan Bishop
  5. Convoking deanery meetings
  6. Filling temporary vacancies in parish clergy, with the consent of the Diocesan Bishop
  7. Receiving the minutes of parish meetings held within his deanery, with the right to make recommendations ,to the Diocesan Bishop, and forwarding copies of such minutes to the Diocesan Bishop’s office
  8. Taking part in parish meetings, upon commission of the diocesan authority, or the request of the rector, or the parish council
  9. Aiding, and planning the organisation of new parishes within his deanery
  10. Observing that new church edifices under construction are built according to the approved plans of the diocesan authority, and if necessary upon advice of the Metropolitan Council
  11. Acting on all other matters submitted to him by the Diocesan Bishop
  12. Submitting the minutes of every meeting of the deanery to the Diocesan Bishop
  13. Submitting a quarterly report on the status of his deanery to the Diocesan Bishop ; and a report also to the Diocesan Council, and the Diocesan Assembly, stating not only the achievements, but also instances of serious negligence
  14. Negotiating with the parish, and the assigned priest the stipend, and “fringe-benefits” needed by the priest, in agreement with the ability of the parish to meet these requests

4. Election

The District Dean is elected from among the rectors of the deanery, and confirmed by the Diocesan Bishop, for a term of up to three years. When an election is not possible for some reason, the Diocesan Bishop may appoint the District Dean, also for a term of up to three years.