On Saturday 10th June Bishop Paul MacAleenan ordained eight men to the diaconate in Westminster Cathedral.
Patrick Allsop, Allan Alvarado Gil, Mark Dunglinson, Daniel Herrero, Rajiv Michael and Jon Stogdon were ordained for the Diocese of Westminster with Robert James being ordained for Cardiff and Jonathan Whitby-Smith for Nottingham.
In his homily Bishop Paul urged them to be ‘Christ's companions in prayer’ as this is how one ‘prepares to speak the word which finds its way into peoples’ lives and gives them faith and hope’.
Speaking of this vocation to pray, he told the ordinands they would be 'obliged to pray at different times of the day for the world, for all people' and their days 'will be punctuated by times when you will cease from activity and imitate Christ the man of prayer, and so bring God's grace to the world in ways that we will never know'.
He explained that a vocation to the diaconate or the priesthood 'slips into someone's heart’ and the one with that vocation may not know what it is. Being in formation is a time of making ‘Christ’s wish for us our own wish until there comes the point when our will is aligned with his,' he added.
Bishop Paul reminded the men that 'it is really God who lays his hands on you this day in the form of the bishop, he does so because he wants you', rejoicing that the men have responded to his call: 'It is his mission; we ask only for the grace to be faithful.'
The eight men ordained today will continue their formation toward the priesthood and spend the next year in placements in parishes around the diocese.
Additional photos from the ordinations are available here.