Three new deacons ordained for the Archdiocese of Perth recently were told by Archbishop Barry Hickey that as deacons they must serve – both the Church and its people, "especially the poor."
More shepherds: It’s recorded in the Acts of the Apostles how the apostles found themselves becoming more and more overwhelmed with work in ministering to the rapidly-growing numbers of converts to the new faith of Christianity in Jerusalem shortly after Christ rose from the dead. Their solution? Ordain special assistants to help in administration and other tasks for the Church, freeing the apostles for the critical task of preaching the good news about Jesus Christ. So began the Office of Deacon, special assistants to the Church’s first bishops, whose jobs included preaching the gospel, ministering to the poor, caring for widows and orphans and distributing alms to those in need.
The three newest deacons in the Archdiocese of Perth are Jean-Noel Antione Marie, Bonaventure Anny Echeta and Jeronimo de Jesus Flamenco, who were ordained to the diaconate by Archbishop Barry Hickey at Good Shepherd Church in Lockridge in front of a packed congregation of several hundred last Saturday evening, November 2. The three, all of whom studied at St Charles Seminary in Perth, hail from three parts of the globe: Jean-Noel from Mauritius, Bonaventure from Kenya and Jeronimo from El Salvador. Like many such recent ordinations to the priesthood the three new deacons lend an increasingly international flavour to the local church – both in terms of clergy and the populations gathered in local parishes.
Archbishop Hickey said during the ceremony that the task of being a deacon is not a job; it is a special call from God that comes with great importance and responsibilities. “It must be approached in fear and trembling,” he said of the weighty responsibilities associated with the diaconate.
Meanwhile, the three new deacons have a special role awaiting them: as deacons they must serve – both the Church and its people, “especially the poor.” They will not be able to do that “unless they get to know the poor personally. It’s something they have to do,” he said.
photo: Peter rosengren
Full report and photos next week…