Deacon Jerome reflects on 18 months as a deacon

By Deacon Jerome D’Rozario, 5 July 2024
Deacon Jerome D’Rozario proclaims the Gospel during the Mass for Deceased Clergy at St Aidan's Parish, Rooty Hill, in November 2023. Image: Mary Brazell/Diocese of Parramatta

 

On 10 December 2022, the Diocese was blessed with the ordination of five permanent deacons – Deacons Charles Abela, David Dowling, Jerome D’Rozario, Batsirai Maringehosi and Alan Skofic – by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta. 

Having served in his ministry for 18 months, Catholic Outlook spoke with Deacon Jerome about what he has enjoyed in his ministry. 

Deacon Jerome is currently serving at St Aidan’s Parish, Rooty Hill. 

 

I consider myself very blessed and grateful to be a deacon. This past year has been filled with grace and growth. I often wondered how people would react before the ordination. It has been the Holy Spirit who has guided me, filling me with courage and joy, dispelling any fears, and enabling me to serve faithfully as a good labourer in His vineyard. 

With the knowledge and guidance of senior deacons, the encouragement of the parish priests, and the warm acceptance of parishioners, my journey has been smooth sailing. Each day is a new blessing, and I embrace it without overwhelming myself with “what-ifs.” 

Serving at St Aidan’s Parish, Rooty Hill, under the supportive and understanding guidance of Fr Alan, has been a tremendous privilege. The lively and faith-filled community here, as the Body of Christ, has uplifted my spirit. Transitioning from a lay person to ordained servant of Christ has been a truly joyful and fulfilling experience. 

Assisting the priest in the Holy Mass and holding the chalice of the Blood of Jesus is an honour beyond words. Before the Mass, when I put on my dalmatic, I feel enveloped in Christ’s love, becoming a sign of His presence in the community. My mission now is to proclaim Christ through my words and actions. 

During Mass, my primary duty as a deacon is the ministry of the Word. It is a profound joy to proclaim the Word during the Holy Mass, knowing that this same Word becomes flesh in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ in the hands of a priest. This is a truly awe-inspiring experience.  

Preaching is another important ministry. The community’s positive feedback on my sermons, regarding content, delivery, and articulation encourages me greatly. Preaching not only influences others but also motivates me to live out the teachings I share. The Bishop’s words at my ordination resonate deeply: “Believe what you read. Teach what you believe. Practice what you teach.” I am reminded of what I once read – “God’s word is not truly proclaimed by reading it from the Ambo; it is proclaimed through daily life.” 

Beyond my ministry in the Mass, I have the privilege of baptising babies and children, welcoming new members into the Body of Christ, the Church. I take great joy and pride in baptising children and feel at ease doing so. St Aidan’s is a wonderful parish and the parishioners inspire me with their dedication to growing our faith community.  

However, my work is not without challenges. Balancing my commitments as a deacon with my responsibilities as a husband, father, and grandfather requires patience, resilience, and faith. Helping look after my two grandsons who are two-and-a-half-year-old and almost one-year-old, brings immense joy and enriches my life. Watching them grow and learn reminds me of the beauty and innocence of life and strengthens my faith. The support from my family plays a crucial role in this juggling my commitments. During trying times, I draw strength from my faith, prayer and the grace of God, enabling me to persevere with hope and determination.  

Reflecting on my journey as a deacon, I see that I have grown in my faith and my own spiritual life over the year. Each morning, I wake up with a heart full of gratitude to God for my vocation and for God’s boundless love and compassion. My wife and children are very supportive and understanding, which makes this journey even more rewarding.  

In conclusion, this servant-ministry journey is profoundly rewarding and fulfilling. It brings healing and hope to the community as we walk together on our journey of faith. We bear witness to the enduring presence of God’s love in the world, illuminating the path toward a future filled with grace and redemption. 

 

Learn more about discerning a vocation to the permanent diaconate on our Diocesan website.  

View images from the ordination of the five permanent deacons in 2022. 

 

Read Daily
* indicates required

RELATED STORIES