A warm welcome to the website of the
Roman Catholic Church of St. Thomas of Canterbury, Fulham
in the Archdiocese of Westminster
Letter from Fr. Dennis to our Parish Community:
For this Sunday
My Dear Friends,
In a few weeks’ time, June 22nd to be precise, Mr Wayne O’Reilly, known to all of us I am sure as our Parish MC and in charge of our Altar Servers, will be Ordained at Westminster Cathedral. The Mass of Ordination, to be celebrated by Cardinal Vincent, will be at 12.30 pm, and I do hope that many of us will be there to give him our prayerful support; all are welcome.
Wayne will be Ordained to the Permanent Diaconate, but what does that mean? Primarily, the Order of Deacon is a call to a ministry of service, and that service takes many forms. The ‘permanent diaconate’ was restored by Pope Paul VI as recently as 1967 and amongst other things, it allows married men to be ordained, but as such they are unable to go forward to the Priesthood, or to put it another way – their ‘order’ is permanent.
So, what is the difference between a priest and a deacon? Well, a deacon is called to serve, and the symbol of their ministry is therefore the basin and the towel. The items Jesus used when he washed the feet of the apostles at the Last Supper, illustrating how we are all called to love and serve. So, the deacon, in a very special way, brings the needs of the poor, the sick and the disabled to the altar, and although he cannot say Mass, he can and will preach, as well as preside at baptisms, weddings and funerals when there is no Mass involved.
This coming weekend, and next Sunday at the 9am and the 12pm Mass, instead of my homily, Wayne will tell us something of his journey; the journey that has brought him to this wonderful moment in his and his wife Emma’s life. Finally, there will be an opportunity for all of us to congratulate Wayne on Sunday 23rd after the 12 noon Mass in the school hall; see you all there.!
Fr. Dennis Touw – Tempelmans Plat. Parish Priest
Fr. Emmanuel Onwu. Assistant Priest