On Saturday 1st November Juan Carlos Valer was ordained into the Permanent Diaconate at St Barnabas Cathedral in Nottingham by Bishop John Sherrington. Friends and family were in attendance to support him on this momentous day, which follows four years of theological study, prayer and spiritual growth.
Deacons and priests from around the Nottingham Diocese were there to welcome the five candidates as they received Holy Orders. The opening hymn – ‘Lord, you give the great commission: ‘Heal the sick and preach the word’ perfectly encapsulates the role of the Deacon in the Church. The rite of Ordination saw the candidates make solemn promises to God to proclaim the faith in word and action, including celebrating the liturgy of the hours and resolving to shape their lives according to the example of Christ. Each candidate then knelt before the Bishop, placed his hands between those of the Bishop and made a promise of obedience to their Ordinary. During the Litany of the Saints, the candidates prostrated themselves before the altar as a sign of their total dependence on God.
Following the Ordination, the candidates were formally ‘vested’ with a stole and dalmatic; knelt before the Bishop and touched the Book of the Gospels; and finally were greeted with the kiss of peace by the Bishop and all the other deacons present. At the conclusion of Mass, there was a spontaneous round of applause for our new deacons.
At St Alban’s Church today, on the Feast of All Saints, Juan Carlos was welcomed by the Parish into his new role and gave the homily for us. After Mass a celebration was held in the Parish Centre to mark the occasion, and the children presented him with a congratulations card. Please continue to pray for Juan Carlos, and his wife Maria, as he begins his ministry among us at St Alban’s and The Church on Oakwood.