The Diocese of Georgetown has a new deacon.
Francis Xavier Savarimuthu was ordained to the diaconate January 26, Sunday of the Word of God. Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB presided with a number of clergy from the Georgetown area including newly appointed Vicar General, Fr John Persaud, and his predecessor Msgr Terrence Montrose.
Georgetown’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was comfortably filled although at the time of the ordination, the funeral of beloved Fr Joachim Marian Demello SJ was taking place in Berbice and many priests and laity had gone to bid their farewell.
In his homily, Bishop Alleyne linked the importance of the Word of God in transforming lives and urged the candidate to minister the Word in such a way that lives will be transformed. He urged Francis Xavier to support his preaching of the Word by the life he lived.
Br Paschal Jordan OSB, the deacon’s spiritual director, and Trinidadian friend Bernadette Gopaul-Ramkhalawan did the vesting. Before the final blessing, Deacon Francis Xavier thanked the people of Guyana for being his family and pledged his service to them. His family in India was unable to attend.
Deacon Francis Xavier was born November 21, 1984 in the village of Veerareddikuppam, India, the last of seven children.
At the age of eight he joined the altar servers of his parish where he and the group of altar servers lived with the priest. He lived in the presbytery until he was 14 and it was during this time, he first thought about becoming a priest.
In 2006, he joined the Missionaries of The Most Precious Blood (CPPS) in India. He read about the lives of the saints especially St Francis Xavier, whose name he bears.
In 2013, the CPPS in India was closed and the members were asked to look for another congregation to join. Deacon Francis Xavier joined the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE), which brought him to Guyana.
In 2015, he decided to serve as a diocesan priest. He worked in various pastoral areas learning about the people and their way of life before being sent to study at the Seminary of St John Vianney and Uganda Martyrs, Mt St Benedict where he completed his BA in Theology.
He returned to Guyana last year where he continued his pastoral work among the various parishes and helping young people. — With reporting by Bernadette Gopaul-Ramkhalawan