On the back of the booklet were the words ‘I have chosen you’. Peter was surrounded by his family, friends, many clergy and members of his community on this great journey of faith to which he was making a commitment.
After the readings, Bishop Bill asked Fr Brian Mascord, the Vocations Director, “Do you know him to be worthy?” to which the response of affirmation was made by Fr Brian and then the Assembly. Peter then made the following public declaration before we prayed the Litany of the Saints over him.
Do you resolve to be consecrated for the Church's ministry by the laying on of hands and the gift of the Holy Spirit?
Do you resolve to discharge the office of Deacon with humble charity in order to assist the priestly Order and to benefit the Christian people?
Do you resolve to hold fast to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience, as the Apostle urges, and to proclaim this faith in word and deed according to the Gospel and the Church's tradition?
Do you resolve to keep for ever this commitment to remain celibate as a sign of your dedication to Christ the Lord for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, in service of God and man?
Do you resolve to maintain and deepen a spirit of prayer that is proper to your way of life and, in keeping with this spirit and what is required of you, to celebrate faithfully the Liturgy of the Hours with and for the People of God and indeed the whole world?
Do you resolve to conform your way of life always to the example of Christ, of whose Body and Blood you are a minister at the altar?
Peter answered “I do” to all these resolutions and to the last one he added the words ‘with the help of God’.
He then knelt before Bishop Bill and placed his joined hands between the Bishop’s hands. The Bishop then asked him:
Do you promise respect and obedience to me and my successors?
And then the Bishop said, “May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfilment.”
After the laying on of hands Peter was presented with the Book of the Gospels:
Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become.
Believe what you read,
teach what you believe,
and practise what you teach.
These are our hopes for Peter as we pray for him in his final stage before priestly ordination. He has made a powerful commitment before God, his Bishop, the clergy and his fellow pilgrims. May God who has commenced this good work in him remain with him.
Article courtesy of Teresa Brierley, Vice Chancellor Pastoral Ministries.