Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate of Jack Foxall and Peter Middleton, St Chad’s Cathedral, Sunday 22 July 2012
By Paul O’Connor
Sunday 22 July saw the Ordination to the Diaconate of Jack Foxall and Peter Middleton. This was performed by His Grace the Archbishop of Birmingham Bernard Longley at St Chad’s Cathedral.
The Mass was a thanksgiving to God for bringing these two men to their vocation and was witnessed by those who had helped them so much on their journey. In attendance were their wives Kathleen and Mary, their families, parishioners and clergy from Christ the King, Kingstanding and St Helen, King’s Norton, Bishop Philip Pargeter, their fellow deacons, and staff from St Mary’s College, Oscott, where they had trained for the last four years.
His Grace called upon the new deacons to be servants: of the Gospel, of the sacraments and of charity and to be evangelists.
After praying with His Grace, Jack and Peter lay prostrate in front of the sanctuary as the Litany of Saints was sung before the prayer of consecration and laying on of hands. Finally, His Grace gave them individually the book of the Gospels saying,
“Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you now are. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.”
Jack and Peter then assisted His Grace for the remainder of Mass.
There were words of thanks given by Fr David Bazen to His Grace, to Monsignor Mark Crisp and the staff of Oscott College, and to Fr David’s predecessor as Diocesan Director for the Permanent Diaconate, Fr Paul Chamberlain, who had travelled from his retirement in Donegal to attend.
Jack and Peter were also supported by their colleagues from the Diocesan Formation Programme for the Diaconate who undertook all the serving and sang the litany of saints.
Revv. Jack and Peter departed the Cathedral with the concluding hymn “I will be wherever you go”, with that poignant verse, “Your life will be transformed with power by living truly in my name.”