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Serve, be holy, be the light – Two new deacons for the Archdiocese

By Raymond Syms, Editor


Maurice White, 39, and Roland Joseph, 56, were ordained deacons by Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon on Saturday, September 23 at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Malabar, Arima.

The Archbishop’s simple message to the newest members of the clergy: serve, be holy, be light.

“Brothers, the Church does not need functionaries. The Church does not need men of cloth. The Church does not need men who occupy positions and have prestige. What the Church needs the most right now in this age where it is so dark is the light of Christ shining through her ministers….the Church needs holy men, holy women… If the age is dark, it is because God creates light through us His people.”

He advised them to emulate the Blessed Mary, who carried Jesus in her heart, body, and soul. “Be like her who carried Jesus in her heart, in her body and in her soul, be like her completely transparent to God. Be like her who joined her will with His will. Be like her who gave everything that she had to Him. Do not hold back on God”.

Earlier in the homily the Archbishop addressed themes of vocation, sacrifice, and the unwavering love of God.

Drawing on the metaphor of running with “Adidas or Nike shoes on,” Archbishop Gordon painted a vivid picture of God’s relentless pursuit of those He calls.

He stressed that even when individuals may feel ill-equipped or unworthy, God’s persistence eventually leads them to embrace the vocation intended for them. “And when God calls, God equips,” he asserted.

Archbishop Gordon reminded the congregation that God’s love, relentless and unwavering, sustains individuals throughout their journey of faith.

His homily also drew inspiration from St Paul’s letter to Timothy (1 Tim 4:12–16), underscoring the importance of the Reading, encouragement, and teaching found in the sacred texts.

Archbishop Gordon highlighted how the Word of God holds immense power, with Christ’s presence embedded within its verses. This presence, he explained, ministered to the hearts of believers, and performed a profound work within their souls.

Connecting this to the diaconate, Archbishop Gordon painted a clear picture of the deacon’s role: a deacon serves at the table of the Word, the altar, and at the feet of the poor. The deacon’s service should encompass these three dimensions to maintain a harmonious balance in their vocation.

The cloth a deacon wears, he said, is not one of pretension but of service. It should resemble the towel that Jesus wrapped around His waist when washing His disciples’ feet, symbolising humility, and selflessness.

Archbishop Gordon also invoked the example of Padre Pio who exemplified sacrifice and holiness. September 23 was his feast day. He shared the story of how Padre Pio chose the path of sacrifice when God presented him with a stark ultimatum: become a man of sacrifice or face damnation.

The Rite of Ordination continued after the homily with the Promise of the Elect, the Litany of Saints, the Laying on of Hands, and the Investiture with Stole and Dalmatic. Rev White was vested by his parents, Michael and Anne Marie, while Rev Joseph was vested by his wife Jenny and mother Joyce.

Before the final blessing, Rev Joseph thanked the Archbishop, Seminary Rector Fr Jason Boatswain and other formators, the Catholic Religious Educational Development Institute, the University of Dayton staff, his wife and extended family, and the parish communities of Belmont, Gonzales, and Cathedral/Sacred Heart. “And to my 15 brother deacons ordained in 2022 – I made it brothers.”

Rev White, who will be ordained to the priesthood in 2024, thanked the Archbishop and all his formators, clergy of the Santa Rosa/Malabar Cluster, and “anyone who has contributed to my human and spiritual development”. He thanked especially “all the ma’s (mothers) who had a hand in my life”, both living and now deceased.

He ended with a message to youth present saying, “If you really want to live your life to the fullest”, to have a life of “happiness, holiness and beatitude…give your life to God”.

Take the time to make that “interior journey”, and find Christ.