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By Deacon Robert Smialek

On Saturday 10th June I was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Westminster. Prior to this, I had served at many other ordinations for my brother seminarians so I felt I knew what to expect on the day. When I watched the men before me get ordained, I always found their prostration at the Litany of the Saints to be a very poignant moment and I often imagined this would be the moment that was going to have a profound impact on me. 

When the day finally came, however, I of course found the Litany of the Saints to be a beautiful moment,
but the profundity of the situation finally dawned on me when the Bishop laid his hands upon me, silently calling down the Holy Spirit. In that solemn silence of the laying on of hands, I suddenly realised that everything before this point in time was in preparation for this event and it was through the action of the Bishop that everything was suddenly realised.  

I felt an intense gratitude to everyone who helped me over the years, who prayed for me, who encouraged me, and who helped form me so that I could receive this gift of ordination, but above all I felt an incredible gratitude towards God for having called me. I also came to see that ordination is not the end but the beginning; I have entered into a new relationship with Christ and his Church with new responsibilities. 

There is a weight to ordination that one suddenly becomes aware of but at the same time there is an understanding that the grace of God will always be present and sufficient, which is very reassuring. As I journey along my vocation I feel deep gratitude to all have supported me, but there is one final request I ask of you all: Please keep me in your prayers.  

Additional photos from the diaconal ordination are available here.