ORDINATION TO DIACONATE OF REVEREND HARRY CHAN, OFM,CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HARTAT SAINT CLARE’S CHURCH, NORTH BOX HILL,ON SATURDAY, 3 DECEMBER 2011 AT 6PM
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On this second Sunday of Advent and the feast day of Saint Francis Xavier, the apostle of the east, and encouraged by the towering figure of Saint John the Baptist, I am honoured to be with Father Paul Smith, Provincial, Father Peter McGrath, Parish Priest, my Franciscan friends and you as the parishioners for the Ordination of Brother Harry Chan as a Deacon.
We pray that responding to the charism of Saint Francis to renew the Church, he will always prepare a way for the Lord and invite people into the love which he alone can give.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
In the Gospel we have just read we have seen John the Baptist as the powerful messenger to announce the coming of the Lord and to invite us to conversion and repentance. With sensitivity and humility, but with tremendous courage, John the Baptist goes forth to invite people to recognise Jesus as the Lamb of God.
Today as we proceed to the Ordination of Brother Harry Chan at the end of a long period of formation, we pray above all that Harry will always be a messenger of the Lord, inviting people to conversion and surrounding his invitation with mercy and wonder under the power of the Holy Spirit, through whom he will soon receive the Sacrament of Orders as a Deacon.
Christ’s own words: “I come among you as one who serves”, remind us that everyone coming to Ordination in the Catholic Church is a servant. If we use the words of Cardinal Newman we would see him as a cipher, a window to let the light of Christ through by word and deed, to open out the attractiveness of the Gospel and the wonder of God’s loving care for each of us.
Deacons minister in the liturgy, they ponder and preach the word, they pray the Liturgy of the Hours, so that we know that our needs are being brought constantly to God. Above all they are distinguished in recognising the needs of people and in meeting them in humble giftedness.
Tonight I offer this Mass for Deacon-to-be Harry and ask that Christ may shine through his heart and through his life as we go forward with him to Ordination.
+ Denis J. Hart,ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.