The Roman Catholic Church yesterday ordained three deacons, boosting its capacity to look after the spiritual welfare of its flock.
The ordination was held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, in Suva, and the chief celebrant was the head of the church in the country, the Archbishop of Suva, Peter Loy Chong.
The new deacons have been studying for the priesthood at the Pacific Regional Seminary at Suva Point for six years. They will become eligible for ordination to the priesthood after their seventh year at the seminary.
Prior to entering the seminary, the three have spent varying lengths of time “testing the waters” in a programme lay people call “come-and-see”.
It is a prerequisite before joining the seminary just so they can be confident about their choice to become Catholic priests.
“Put the tasks you are ordained for ahead of every other and serve others rather than yourself,” said Archbishop Loy Chong.
“These men are ready to commit themselves to serve the church – the people of God, as deacons and later as priests; especially in a time when it is not very exciting but challenging to be a deacon or priest.”
Archbishop Loy Chong said they would serve the people of God as:
Ministers of the Word of God
Ministers of the altar
In service of charity and Justice
It will also be their duty:
To bring God’s word to Catholics, Christians and peoples of other faiths
To preside over public prayer
To assist at marriages and bless them
To give the body of Christ to the dying
And to lead the rites of burial