Deacon Dr Joseph Leach

I first 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. 

Away from 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. 

Personally, I am married and the father of three (now all grown up) boys.

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