Fr Harry Curtis, Director for the Permanent Diaconate:
Despite the counter-attractions of sporting events at Lords, Silverstone and Wimbledon on Sunday (14 July) afternoon a large congregation gathered at St Chad’s Cathedral.
Permanent Deacons from across the Archdiocese, along with parishioners from St Marie’s parish in Rugby and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, gathered together in unity.
The occasion? To celebrate Mass with Archbishop Bernard Longley during which he ordained two men from those parishes, Lionel Pelloquin and Paul Bradley, as Permanent Deacons.
The celebration of the Sacrament of Ordination of a Deacon is similar in form to that of a Priest – by prayer and the laying on of hands, as described from the earliest days of the Church – but the beautiful Prayer of Consecration emphasises the essential nature of the Diaconate, a call to service.
“Lord, send forth upon them the Holy Spirit, that they may be strengthened by the gift of your sevenfold grace to carry out faithfully the work of the ministry. May they excel in every virtue: in love that is sincere, in concern for the sick and the poor, in unassuming authority, in self-discipline and in holiness of life. May their conduct exemplify your commandments and lead your people to imitate their purity of life. May they remain strong and steadfast in Christ, giving to the world the witness of a pure conscience. May they in this life imitate your Son, who came, not to be served but to serve, and one day reign with Him in heaven.”
In his homily Archbishop Bernard spoke about the Gospel of the Good Samaritan and the personal call to service that it held for each of the Ordinandi and for their families.
The whole service was a joyful and prayerful celebration, and if anyone was observed checking their smart phones His Grace was able to assure us that it was merely to follow the Order of Service!
May God bless Lionel and Paul, their families and their parish communities. Ad Multos Annos.
If anyone would like to find out more about the Permanent Diaconate please contact Fr Harry Curtis, Director for the Permanent Diaconate, via firstname.lastname@example.org