On Saturday 19 July Cardinal Vincent Nichols ordained three new permanent deacons for the Diocese of Westminster: Justin Cross, Ian Edwards, Stephen Khokhar.
In his Homily the Cardinal said to be a deacon ‘is to be called to a ministry in the name of the Church, a ministry of service and proclamation.’
He also reflected on recent comments by Pope Francis as well as drawing on the example of St Francis of Assisi:
‘Pope Francis says that the deacon is to be an apostle in his family, in his employment, in his community and on the new frontiers of our mission in the world today. He is to be an apostle of service, proclamation and charity, working with his fellow deacons, in close unity with the priests and in faithful communion with his bishop.’
‘St Francis was a deacon, never a priest, and he is a fine example for our new deacons today. He had such a rich and irresistible joy in the Lord. He showed such a radical sense of service. He lived a life of total dependence on God. He is an inspiration for us all.’
Deacons Justin, Ian and Stephen will join a team of over 20 permanent deacons in the Diocese of Westminster. As well as parish ministry these men are engaged in a variety of other ministries including prison, school and hospital chaplaincies.