On the feast of St Barnabas, 11 June, Julio Albornoz, Michael Maguire, Joseph Okoro and Carlos Quito, who have been training at Allen Hall Seminary were ordained deacons by Bishop Nicholas at the Cathedral.
In the homily, directly ahead of the Ordination Rite, Bishop Nicholas explained, 'By ordaining you on this feast day, the Church gives you a good patron to accompany you for the rest of your lives in the person of Barnabas the apostle.'
Like St Barnabas and St Paul who were 'set apart by the Holy Spirit' for the work to which he calls them, so too 'it’s the same Holy Spirit who chooses Carlos, Joseph, Julio and Michael to be set apart today for the work to which he calls them. And so hands will be laid on them and they will embark on what promises to be a rich and fruitful diaconal ministry by way of preparation, before long, for priestly ordination,' said Bishop Nicholas.
Speaking about the promise to remain celibate that the men were about to make, he described it a 'radical sign of these four men's desire to give themselves fully to this ministry'.
'To promise celibacy always was a most generous act but the fact that it’s so counter-cultural today makes it more generous than ever,' continued Bishop Nicholas.
He went on to explain to the men that to make such a commitment, 'we have to be sure we are receiving the gift to do so' and 'the gift you make of yourselves this day is truly precious in the eyes of the Lord'.
The men continue their formation as they journey towards ordination to the priesthood. During this diaconate year, Rev Julio Albornoz will be deacon at Five Precious Wounds, Stonebridge, Rev Michael Maguire will be deacon at St Mary and St Michael, Commercial Road, Rev Joseph Okoro will be deacon at Most Sacred Heart, Ruislip, and Rev Carlos Quito will be deacon at the Annunciation, Burnt Oak.
On Wednesday 15 June, John Warnaby from the Beda College was also ordained to the diaconate. Rev John continues his formation in Rome.
Please pray for these men as they continue their formation.
Pictured are: Fr Francesco Donega, Rector of Redemptoris Mater, Rev Julio Albornoz, Rev Carlos Quito, Bishop Nicholas, Rev Joseph Okoro, Rev Michael Maguire, and Fr Roger Taylor, Rector of Allen Hall.
The full text of Bishop Nicholas' homily can be found here.
Photos from the ordination are available here.