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By Deacon Thomas Blackburn

After seven years of formation, the day of my diaconate ordination passed in what seemed like a single moment, though it was a beautiful moment and one that fills me with gratitude. 

To be ordained as a group of seven was truly biblical, and evoked images of the election of the first seven deacons in the Acts of the Apostles. 

It was also beautiful that the seven of us came from five different diocese, because it was clear that, although our vocations are to serve in different places, there is ultimately only one mission and one Master, the Lord.

As I lay prostrate during the ordination, I was aware that, if I give myself to the Lord and his Church, he will do miracles with me, as he has throughout my life.

Originally from the Diocese of Clifton, I was sent to Westminster Diocese in 2016 to be formed in the Redemptoris Mater as a diocesan priest, with a special focus on the missionary character of priesthood, and to be available for ministry in the universal Church. I have been on mission in Israel for a year, as well as Uganda for a somewhat precarious year through the time of Covid.

Today, I am grateful for everything the Lord has done. For calling me away from my own plans for life, and to follow him; in this way I can say I have done nothing and he has done everything. In the words of Our Lady: ‘The Lord has done great things for me. Holy is his name.’

Next, I will spend my diaconate year ministering in the parish of St Anthony of Padua, Edgware, and I am looking forward to this immensely. Please pray for me.

Additional photos from the diaconal ordination are available here.