Deacon Ordination and Renewal of Promises by Deacons of the Diocese
On Saturday 16th June Bishop Richard ordained Jonathan Harman as a deacon for the parish of St Richard's, Chichester. Jon, as he is known, with his wife Niki and family have been parishioners in the parish for many years and they are involved in many different ways in the life of the parish. He will contnue to work in the parish alongside his new job as Adviser for Formation and Spirituality in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton.
Bishop Richard reflecting on the first reading from the prophet Jermiah which focused on the prophet's unworthiness, said that we were all unworthy of the vocations we are called to but that God, as with the prophet Jeremiah, makes us worthy and the Church declares this during the ceremony. Importantly though we are declared worthy by God not for our own sake but so that we can be at the service of others, something that is particualrly true for the deacon.
On Saturday 9th June, the week before the ordination, on the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Arundel Cathedral Bishop Richard also celebrated Mass with twenty-one of his deacons and their families. As part of the Mass he invited them to renew the promises they made at their ordinations. A week later many of those deacons were to gather in St Richard's, Chichester to celebrate the ordination by Bishop Richard of another man from Arundel & Brighton Diocese who would make those very same promises.