The Diocese of Parramatta’s newest deacon has been encouraged to faithfully follow the footsteps of Christ.
Surrounded by family, friends and members of his parish ‘second family’, seminarian Adam Carlow was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, on Saturday 29 January at Our Lady, Queen of Peace Parish, Greystanes.
“It’s been a great, joyful celebration for us, not only here at Our Lady, Queen of Peace, but also the whole Diocese, the Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, every time a deacon or a priest is ordained,” Bishop Vincent said during the Mass.
“We commend him to Almighty God and the accompaniment of Mary for a very fruitful period of ministerial formation and growth towards the priesthood.”
Bishop Vincent – we are to manifest the ‘diakonia of Christ’
In his Homily, Bishop Vincent encouraged Adam to be inspired by the Sunday readings, in being called to authentic discipleship and authentic living of the Gospel.
“The Word of God challenges us to go beyond what is familiar, secure and comfortable in order to embrace vulnerability for the sake of fidelity to the boundary-breaking spirit of God,” Bishop Vincent said.
“In the example of Jesus, we are inspired to empower the powerless, to lift up the lowly and in so doing, embodying the Gospel of justice, inclusion and dignity for the downtrodden.
“This evening, we commission our brother Adam, through the diaconal ordination, to live and to share that radical Gospel of Jesus.
“Your diaconal ministry will bring into sharp focus, Adam, a fundamental dimension of Christian discipleship, that is the commitment to service, to walk, to accompany, to lift, to dignify the lives of the poor. You are to manifest the diakonia of Christ, that is a common call for all the baptised.
“May we follow the footsteps of Jesus faithfully. Adam, may you follow the footsteps of Jesus faithfully, even at your own cost.
“May we have the courage to follow the example of Him who came that others may have life and having it to the full,” he said.
Adam ‘blessed to be on this journey’
In his words of thanks, Adam described how is blessed to be on this journey and that being ordained is another step along the way.
“Eight years ago, when I joined the Holy Spirit Seminary, I was building my own house, my own person, and I think this house finds itself on good ground here in the Diocese of Parramatta.
“Tonight, I’ve been ordained to the diaconate. For me, it doesn’t mean I’ve made it, or I’ve got it, or I’m finished with my formation. For me, and for the Church, this is an important step along the way in what will be a lifelong journey of growth and service.”
Well-wishes from parish family
At a small gathering following Mass, young members of the parish thanked Adam for helping them over his six months in the parish, and wished him well for his next stage.
“We appreciate all your commitment and the amount of work you put in with us [over the six months]. We really appreciate you, we love you, and we look forward to seeing you in your future,” one of the youth members said.
“I give thanks to you, Adam, for your inspiration. Without your inspiration, I feel like I wouldn’t be as involved in the parish as I am now,” another youth member said.
In the parish’s bulletin, parish priest Fr Paul Roberts wished Adam well in his next chapter, adding that his ordination serves as a “profound encouragement” to all members of the faithful.
“The deacon in our Catholic story, is ideally to be a model of ‘diakonia’ – of the ministry of service for people’s material and spiritual need,” Fr Paul wrote.
“A loving and keenly serving deacon can be a profound encouragement to us all as members of God’s Church – encouragement for the many ways we are called to live the presence of Jesus.
“May Adam experience deep and loving encouragement from us as he takes this very special step to ordination as a deacon.
“Hopefully his time here with us will have been a helpful encouragement, enabling his gentle and loving spirit to be blessed and enthused on the journey.
“Congratulations dear brother Adam – and here’s to lots of joy and purpose now and along the way.”
Deacon Adam has been appointed to serve the parish community of St Patrick’s Parish, Guildford.
The video of the livestreamed ordination can be seen via the Our Lady Queen of Peace Facebook page.
View images from Deacon Adam’s ordination here or below