Prayerful congratulations to Andrew Lansberry and Martin Casey who have been ordained as permanent deacons to the Archdiocese of Birmingham.
Archbishop Bernard Longley ordained Andrew and Martin to the Permanent Diaconate in front of their families, friends and fellow Deacons at St Chad’s Cathedral on Sunday (17 July).
The word deacon derives from the Greek diakonia, meaning “service”, thereby indicating that a deacon is called like Christ to be a servant. The Order of Deacon has three essential functions: the proclamation of the Gospel, the service of the liturgy, and the administration of charitable works.
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.
There are around 80 deacons serving in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.
Andrew and Martin were recently interviewed about their calling in the latest edition of The Sower magazine
Andrew, by profession a funeral director in Coventry, first realised that he might have a vocation while serving in the parish of St John Vianney as a young man.
His priestly formation has principally taken place at St Mary’s College, Oscott and in his own parish.
“One of the most important aspects of formation is the support network that is put in place as you begin your studies,” said Andrew, 42, who was born in Marston Green. “The seminary staff along with my formation tutor and the priests of my parish have continually encouraged and supported me for the duration of my formation.”
Martin, 36, who was born and raised in Nottingham, has been a full-time teacher at Archbishop Isley Catholic School in Birmingham for the past 11 years.
His two passions within the Church are liturgy and catechesis and a highlight of his formation at St Mary’s College, Oscott was his admission to candidacy when he heard the words spoken by the Bishop: “May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfilment.”
Martin, who says he is “humbly excited” at the prospect of his ordination, said: “At Mass and during Adoration we should feel, and encourage others to feel, a sense of numinous beauty – of awe and wonder in the Presence of God.”