Ordination of Deacons
This Sunday afternoon at 3.00pm Archbishop Malcolm will ordain four men to serve as Deacons in parishes within the Diocese. They are Gergely Juhasz, Peter Mawtus, Michael Moffat and Paul Rooney. All are married men who have been in training over the last four years with the support of their wives and families. The diaconate ministry is principally one of Service and Word. It is interesting that in the description of the choice of the first deacons in the Acts of the Apostles it refers to them being appointed, by the laying on of hands, to serve the whole community to make sure that all were treated fairly in the distribution of food. Then in the next chapter we hear of Stephen, the first martyr, working miracles and proclaiming the word with wisdom. The ministry of service very quickly incorporated that witness to and proclamation of the Word. The ordination service today still refers to this dual role as ministers of Word and Charity with the central part of the rite being the calling down the Holy Spirit and the laying on of hands. When there are men continuing on to be ordained as priests they take their vow of celibacy as part of the diaconate ordination rite – obviously this part of the rite is not applied in the case of married men. However, the current church norm is that if a deacon subsequently becomes a widower he would be expected to remain celibate as is the case with married priests and deacons within the orthodox and eastern rite churches.
Monsignor Cookson will be celebrating a significant birthday milestone on 16 July when he is 80 years young. Along with some other staff members in Cathedral House who celebrate birthdays this month we will be celebrating with him by going out for a birthday lunch together this week. Monsignor Peter will be celebrating his actual birthday with his family in Lytham. I want to take this opportunity to offer him our congratulations and thanks. He served as Cathedral Dean here for 17 years and following major surgery and a considerable period of time in convalescence he returned here and has been a quiet, extremely knowledgeable and very helpful member of the Cathedral clergy team ever since. His service to the Cathedral and our community has been invaluable and I know that, along with us all in Cathedral House, you all hold him in very high regard. Ad multos Annos.
This coming week on Monday morning at 10.00am Bishop Williams will celebrate Mass for children from various catholic schools in the Liverpool area to mark the forthcoming end of term and the transition from primary to secondary education. Then on Thursday St John Bosco High School will be holding their prize giving ceremony in the Cathedral at 1.30pm.
On Tuesday evenings we have had a period of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament after the 5.15pm Mass for some months which has been organised by a group of young adults. Following a meeting last week we have decided to change the format slightly and have a period of quiet prayer for half an hour before the Blessed Sacrament and then follow this at 6.30pm with a discussion for young adults on the coming Sunday Readings.
Canon Anthony O’Brien