Deacon Dr Joseph Leach
heard of the permanent diaconate back in the seventies while I was still at
school. Even then it fascinated me. But I was very young and there was no
program in Melbourne. I went on the study science at university, eventually
getting a PhD in planetary geology. I then worked as a lecturer at the (then) Footscray
Institute of Technology, as a research scientist for the CSIRO, an intelligence
officer for the Royal Australian Air Force, as head of the Remote Sensing Unit
at the (then) Ballarat University College and finally as a lecturer at the
University of Melbourne for twenty-one years, finally retiring in 2015.
In all this
time, I never forgot the idea of the diaconate. It was always there as a
whisper in the back of my mind. Finally, I acted on this whisper and went back
to study. I got a MA(Theol) from the Australian Catholic University, well before
there was a diaconate program in Melbourne. I was accepted into the program when
it did start and did further study at the Melbourne College of Divinity, leading to a Bachelor of Theology degree.
In 2012 I was
ordained a Deacon – the fulfillment of a long-held dream and calling. Since then I have served in two parishes,
Mordialloc-Aspendale and Glen Iris, and I have found great joy in preaching the
gospel and in sharing in significant moments in people’s lives. Baptisms, in
particular, are occasions of great joy.
the parish, now that I am retired from the university, I work as a writer and
have co-authored books on the theology of the eastern church. I also write
fiction and poetry under the pen name of Joseph Liaigh.
I am married and the father of three (now all grown up) boys.