As the Church celebrated the beginning of a new liturgical year, Tom Green began the next chapter in his vocational journey.
In front of family, friends and parishioners across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, Tom was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta. The ordination was held on Sunday 27 November, the First Sunday of Advent, at St Patrick’s Church, Mary, Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown.
“It is with great joy that as a Diocesan family, we commend our brother Tom to the Lord as he receives the grace of diaconal ordination,” Bishop Vincent said in his opening comments.
“May he be configured to Christ the Servant, who came to model for us Christian ministry and service – the One who came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for all.”
Bishop Vincent: We must be open to new ways of doing things the Spirit asks
In his homily, Bishop Vincent commended Tom to a path of “greater discipleship, leadership and service” in his diaconal ministry, and paid tribute to the “critical role” that Tom’s parents, family and parishes played in nurturing his vocation.
“They [his parents] have now gifted the Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains with two sons dedicated to the pastoral care of God’s people,” he said, referring to Tom’s brother, Fr Jack Green, who was ordained in 2018.
“Their lives of faith, hope and love are a source of nourishment and inspiration for Tom and Jack, as they grow in the work of ministry.
“We also acknowledge the role of Mary Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown, which, in addition to the Holy Spirit Seminary, helped shape Tom into the worker in God’s vineyard and an agent of the Kingdom.”
Tom grateful to all the “good companions” on his journey
In a message full of joy and gratitude, Deacon Tom thanked the various people in the Diocesan community who had assisted and prayed for him throughout his formative journey.
“I’m still not quite sure whether some of you don’t know that I’m not Jack,” he said, jokingly, referring to his brother.
“To Fr Regie, Fr Chadi and the team here at [Blacktown] parish, who welcomed me so generously at the beginning of the year, and have given me the opportunity to learn and work alongside you as I prepared for the diaconate – thank you.
“Thank you to the wonderful parishioners here at Blacktown, who welcomed me with open arms and have been so generous with me and have kept me honest.
“To my brother seminarians, including those who have come from other Dioceses, and those who have already begun their ministry – thank you so much for your fraternity which gives me the courage to persevere, knowing that one day I may have the privilege to work alongside you.
“To Fr John O’Neill, my former parish priest – for your witness to the love of the priesthood and the Eucharist, which was so instrumental in laying a foundation for my vocation – thank you.
“To my parents – everyone has been telling me that I must have very holy parents. Thank you so much for all you have done for me and for your constancy despite all my faults and failures. Without your witness to fidelity and goodness, I’m not quite sure how I would’ve managed.
“On an occasion like this, all the glory and thanks ultimately go to God, who is the author of every life and who plans every path.
“Please pray that I may be faithful to Him, who has been so faithful to me, and so, bear Him much fruit.”
Following Mass, the parish hosted a vibrant and joyful celebration in the grounds of St Patrick’s Primary School, Blacktown.
As his first appointment, Deacon Tom will continue to serve at Mary, Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown.
Re-watch the Ordination Mass of Tom Green via the Diocese of Parramatta Facebook page here.
View images from the Ordination Mass of Tom Green here or below: