Five Jesuit Deacons ordained

Laying on of hands -  Bishop George Stack  Josef Briffa

Laying on of hands - Bishop George Stack Josef Briffa

Jesuits from four continents were ordained to the diaconate in London on 2 May. They came from Europe - Malta and Hungary; from the USA, from the frontiers between Guyana and Venezuela; and from India. The presiding bishop was Westminster Auxiliary Bishop George Stack.

The Provincials from Hungary and Malta and the Formation Director from New England Province concelebrated the Mass at Farm Street Church, alongside the British Provincial, Fr Michael Holman SJ, and the Regional Superior of Guyana, Fr Dermot Preston SJ.

The five new deacons are all currently studying for their Bachelors of Divinity at Heythrop College in London. Historian Charles Gallagher, from the New England Province, will move to Geneva in the autumn to continue his research in diplomatic history. Marlon Innis comes from Guyana where his grandmother served as a Parish Lay Assistant in the village of Hosororo and is well known to many Jesuits. Ronald Fernandes, from Karnataka Province (India) served his Regency in Guyana, working principally at the Human Development Centre in Berbice. Josef Briffa’s passion is archaeology, something he was able to share while teaching in Malta as part of his formation. He will continue his studies at the Pontificio Istituto Biblico in Rome this autumn. And Attila András from the Hungarian Province also taught as part of his training, in addition to spending two years in Taiwan where he says he discovered “the Chinese face of God”.

In his homily, Bishop Stack reflected on the various stages of ‘calling’ that each of the men had experienced on their journey to the diaconate. “That calling,” he said, “was an accumulation of the many calls our deacons have heard and to which they have responded throughout their lives. They will know there are often conflicting voices calling them and us to do many different things in life. But through the circumstances of their lives, through their openness to discern God’s purpose for them, they have heard this voice calling them incessantly to be his friends.”

“The authentic proclamation of God’s word,” Bishop Stack reminded the new deacons, “isn’t preached just by standing in a pulpit, or even sitting in a chair. It is preached in the holiness of the actions of our lives.”

Share this story