Cardinal Nichols ordains nine Jesuits as deacons in Westminster Cathedral
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has ordained nine Jesuits as deacons. In one of the first major ceremonies since being made Cardinal by Pope Francis, he presided at the Ordination Mass in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 1 March 2014.
For the past three years, the new deacons have been studying at Heythrop College, University of London, which this year is celebrating the 400th anniversary of its foundation by the Jesuits in Louvain. 2014 is also the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus worldwide - another reason why Cardinal Nichols had been invited to preside at the Ordinations to the Diaconate.
In his homily, Cardinal Nichols urged the deacons to 'know Christ Jesus' - quoting from the reading of the day from St Paul's letter to the Philippians: 'All I want is to know Christ and the power of his resurrection'. He went on to compare St Paul running and aiming for perfection with the deacons' own journeys of faith.
The congregation for the ceremony filled almost the whole of the nave of Westminster Cathedral. Among the scores of priests who concelebrated with Cardinal Nichols were the British Jesuit Provincial, Fr Dermot Preston SJ, the Principal of Heythrop College, Fr Michael Holman SJ, and Fr Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ who had been responsible for the men's training as Jesuits.
The deacons ordained on 1 March come from four continents and eight different Jesuit provinces. Two of them (Kilbert Savarimuththu and Mariyeaselvam Suvakeen) are from Sri Lanka and four come from India. Bollineni Bala Kumar, Edwin Anthony, Joseph Mathew Puthenpurackal and Britto Arokiam are members of the Jesuit provinces of Andhra, Karnataka, Kerala and Madurai respectively and at least two of them are hoping to return in the future to work in Guyana, a Region of the British Province. The remaining three deacons come from Brazil (Aldomarcio Margoto Dal Bo), from Kenya (Meyo Obwanda) and from Germany (Matthias Kramm).
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