The Archdiocese of Birmingham - The Parish of the Immaculate Conception

Deacon Michael Panejko, CertPC, DipPC, DipDS, M.A. Canon Law.

Although of exotic Ukrainian ancestry and parentage, Deacon Michael was born and brought up in Bicester attending both St. Mary’s School before moving on to what is now Bicester Community College. After leaving school he qualified as a mechanic (possibly the only deacon in the diocese who can bless your car and then advise on changing the spark plugs) before becoming a civil servant in the Ministry of Defence where he is a quality manager. Before coming forward for and being ordained to the Permanent Diaconate by Bishop Philip Pargeter at St. Chad’s Cathedral on Sunday, 19th July 2009, one of the first in the diocese, he completed many faithful years as an altar server at the Parish of the Immaculate Conception becoming one of the first in the parish to earn a silver medal from the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen. His many years as an altar server during which he learned about the liturgy of the Catholic Church and honed his ‘sanctuary sense and skills’ that would stand him in good stead in his new vocation leading to him being described as an oddity by a fellow member of the diocesan clergy; an oddity because he knew what he was doing, liturgically speaking. These liturgical skills were immediately put to the test at the Ordination Mass where he was honoured to be invited to exercise his new ministry and act as one of the deacons during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

It is in the celebration of the Church’s liturgies that Deacon Michael carries out his most visible role: in proclaiming the Gospel and assisting in the celebration of the Mass but not in its con-celebration which is why he stands back from the altar and kneels at the consecration. As a deacon, during the Mass he acts as an Ordinary Minister of the Eucharist and is permitted to bless non-communicants with the consecrated host and also to purify the sacred vessels once Mass is over. In addition he is also able to baptise, to preside at a wedding or take a funeral service, to expose and to give Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, to conduct Eucharistic Services and to take Holy Communion to, but not to anoint the sick or hear confessions, to preach and to bless people and objects.

In 2017 Deacon Michael completed his Masters Degree in Canon Law at Heythrop College.

For photographs of Deacon Michael's Ordination at St. Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham, please click on the Icon below.