Friday, 15 June 2018

Annual Mass for Deacons 2018

Deacons and their families with Bishop Richard
On Saturday 9th June on the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Arundel Cathedral Bishop Richard celebrated Mass with twenty-one of his deacons and their families. As part of the Mass he invited them to renew the promises they made at their ordinations. A week later many of those deacons were to gather in St Richard's, Chichester to celebrate the ordination by Bishop Richard of another man from Arundel & Brighton Diocese who would make those very same promises. 

During his homily at the Annual Mass for Deacons, Bishop Richard reminded those present that just as Mary in the Gospel of the day pondered things in her heart, so to the deacon was called to ponder the Word of God in his heart. As a minster of Word and Charity he is called not only to ponder God's Word in his heart but to make it something real and active in the world around him, sharing Christ with others, a service of love. Bishop Richard as part of the service not only thanked his deacons for all they do but also thanked their families and parishes for the ways in which they support his deacons.

June 9th is also the feast of Saint Ephrem the Syrian, Deacon and Doctor of the Church who wrote many beautiful hymns and of Mary, Blessed Mother of Jesus he wrote 'Look: in my arms I clasp the wheat-sheaf of life that provides bread for the hungry, that feeds the hungry, that feeds the needy. Rejoice with me, for I carry the sheaf full of joys.' The Deacon likewise is to carry Jesus to others and Mary of the Magnificat said Bishop Richard provides a pattern for deacons to follow for being close to the Word transfers the the service of the deacon, pouring forth in charity, making him open as Mary to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

The celebration ended with a meal shared by all present in the Cathedral Centre with Bishop Richard chatting and meeting all present.

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