Canonical Services

The Department of Canonical Services contains the Diocesan Tribunal, which handles cases that are subject to the Canon Law of the Church as well as the Office of Due Process, which is responsible for the peaceful settlement of disputes within the Church. The department is administered by Father John (Jack) D. Dickinson. In addition to his work as the Bishop's Cabinet Secretary for Canonical Services, Fr. Dickinson is also the Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Portland.

Annulment Presentation Schedule for Maine Churches

The Office of the Tribunal will hold presentations and discussions on the annulment process in the Catholic Church in the coming weeks and months. All are welcome at any of the gatherings, which will include question and answer periods as well as the opportunity to speak privately to a canonist.

Upcoming Presentations  

St. Mary of the Visitation Church
110 Military Street
Monday, April 22, at 6 p.m.

St. Joseph Church, 225 South High Street
Tuesday, June 4, at 6 p.m.

Parish hall at St. Luke Church, 19 Lake Street
Saturday, June 8, at 11 a.m.

St. Matthew Church, 19 Dora Lane
Monday, June 10, at 5:30 p.m.

Sacred Heart Church, 326 Main Street
Tuesday, September 17, at 6 p.m.

Recent Past Presentations

Holy Rosary Church, Caribou
Holy Family Church, Sanford
Immaculate Conception Church, Calais
Notre Dame du Perpetual Secours Church, Waterville
Our Lady of Perpetual Church, Windham
St. Bernard Church Hall, Rockland
St. Mary Church Hall, Bangor
St. Mary Church, Bath
St. Peter Church, East Millinocket
St. Rose of Lima Church, Jay

General Information

The Department of Canonical Services (Tribunal and Due Process offices) assists the Bishop in his judicial role in the diocese. It serves:

  • To promote, protect and vindicate the rights and privileges of the People of God in accordance with natural and ecclesiastical law.
  • To facilitate full participation in the sacramental life of the Church and more intimate union with God by removing when possible juridical barriers such as previous marriages.
  • To provide canonical expertise to the bishop, priests, religious and laity of the diocese, especially with regard to marriage legislation.

The overall responsibilities of the Tribunal staff are to examine petitions for marriage nullity/dissolution, place our canonical expertise more fully at the service of other departments and the overall mission of the diocese, and meet the canonical needs of the diocese by continuing to dialogue with the Bishop concerning present and future personnel information.

Click here for information on marriage annulments in our diocese

Click here to make payments to the Diocesan Tribunal.

Directory of Staff

Father John (Jack) D. Dickinson
Department Director and Judicial Vicar

Monsignor Paul F. Stefanko

Father Claude Gendreau

Shannon C. Fossett, JCL

David Bearse, JCL

To contact the staff, please email [email protected] or call 207-773-6471.