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Bishop John Arnold ordains two new deacons at Allen Hall

Two Westminster diocesan seminarians have been ordained as transitional Deacons. Giles Pinnock and Jeffrey Steel were ordained Deacons at Allen Hall seminary by Bishop John Arnold, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster on 26 January 2013. 

During his homily Bishop Arnold drew upon the life of St Paul to direct the men towards fulfilling their role as Deacons. Bishop Arnold said: “Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul. I love that Feast, not so much for what we celebrate as for all that the Feast suggests. We have three accounts of the "Conversion" of Paul and they are all written by Luke, in the Acts of the Apostles - Chapters 9, 22 and 26."

“The first Christian communities were so varied and facing different challenges and problems. Some of them were facing open persecution, others like the Corinthians were having trouble just learning to live together having been drawn from such diverse traditions. Paul meets them in the place of their need - he is not imposing the same code of conduct on them in a uniform way.”

“The lesson here for us is that each one of us has our own journey and God has, as Cardinal Newman says "created me for some definite service. He has committed some work to me that he has not committed to another".

“That should tell us two things. In the first place, you and I need to concentrate first and foremost on our own spirituality. We have got to create that sense of silence in our own hearts where we can listen to the Lord, to have that sense of prayer that allows us to be in his presence. It is in that silence that we discover what God wants us to be. It also tells you, Giles and Jeffrey, that if you concentrate on who you are and on your spirituality first, that God will be able to use you as Deacons in the way He wishes. It means that people will find in you the means of making progress on their own spiritual journey.”

“So let us think less about what the duties of the Diaconate may be. You know the Canon Law and the liturgical role and the sacramental opportunities. Now concentrate of your own holiness and allow God the freedom to decide how He wishes to use you, so that you can be all that He wants you to be.”

Both of the new deacons are former clergymen from the Anglican tradition and are married with families and have received dispensations from Rome to enter into the priesthood.

It is hoped that the final ordinations to the priesthood will take place in June 2013 at Westminster Cathedral with six other transitional deacons.