On the Feast of St John the Baptist, seven deacons were ordained by Archbishop Bernard Longley for the dioceses of Birmingham, Brentwood, Cardiff, Hallam, Menevia and Salford. They will continue to prepare for their priestly ordination over the coming year.
In his homily, the Archbishop said that God’s purposes had been fulfilled on their ordination day. He said that ‘the seeds of their vocation have been there since the beginning of their lives, according to the loving purpose of their heavenly Father.’
The Archbishop said that the Church thanked the parents, relatives and close friends for their part in helping the seven men ‘discern their calling’ and ‘to recognise the mission to which the Lord has been calling them from the outset.’ He added ‘Just as the scriptures recognise how Elizabeth and Zachariah understood the calling of their son, so the Church thanks you today, parents and families, for your part in nurturing these precious vocations to the priesthood.’
About the ministry which the seven men are called, the Archbishop said ‘You will be unhappy if you try to customise the diaconate to your own satisfaction. Instead you are embracing a way of living that is based on trust. You are called to accept this gift from the Lord and to adapt yourselves willingly.’
He stressed the need for a ministry of service, ‘the diaconal ministry is about service and it requires above all an attitude of service within each one who receives this calling. A calling which does not come easily, ‘it is acquired and it grows through the sacramental grace you receive today. It is enriched by prayerful reflection on the scriptures setting before us moving examples of service in the life of Jesus himself or in those he called to serve his holy people.’
The Archbishop especially thanked all the staff and seminarians who prepared the ceremony and the Rector and Staff for ‘their dedicated work of formation throughout the year.’ He also thanked the trustees for the gift of their time and expertise and gave a special mention to Fr Paul Moss for his contribution to the Oscott community as a formator and tutor. Fr Paul took up new responsibilities in Rome earlier in the year.
St Mary’s College, Oscott