Capuchin community welcomes six new deacons
Lahore (Suzanna Joseph): In a Holy Mass of Ordination at St. Francis Catholic Church Kot Lakhpat-Lahore, six Capuchin friars were ordained to Diaconate by His Grace Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, Archbishop of Lahore on February 24, 2021. Fr. Francis Sabir OFM Cap., newly elected Custos of Mariam Siddeeqa Capuchin Custody, along with His Excellency Bishop (elect) Khalid Rehmat, Apostolic Vicariate Quetta, were the con-celebrants.
While there were a handful of participants, the church was repeatedly filled with sounds of joyful praise, gratitude and boisterous applause at the ordination of new deacons. Although the gathering was small there were others joining them virtually through broadcast on social media.
Fr. Henry Paul OFM Cap in his opening remarks said, “In the early church as the number of disciples continued to grow the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews. So, the Twelve called together the community of the disciples. Together they decided that it was not right for them to neglect the word of God to serve at a table. Therefore, they selected from among them seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom. Whom they appointed for this task. And they devoted themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them. Hence, the word of God continued to spread. Similarly, we are gathered here today to witness our Capuchin brothers as they are sworn into Ordination rites.
His Grace congratulated the new deacons namely Br. Javed John, Br. Akhter Rafiq, Br. Daud Morris, Br. Azam Issac, Br. Zabran Mughal and Br. Pio Paras. He encouraged them saying, “God has called us together in unity and we are thankful to your families for grooming you and supporting our Catholic Church. Come let us observe our duties and offer thanks.”
“We offer thanks to God that through His Grace you have recognized His will may God’s Grace be sufficient for you and continue to strengthen and encourage you every single day. May you never give up, but always remember that God is for us. May you always act as a beacon of light and hope for your families, for the capuchin community and the entire Catholic Church we ask this through Christ our Lord,” he prayed.
The order of mass was as follows:
First Reading: Isaiah 42:1, 5-6
Second Reading: Acts 6: 1-5
Gospel Reading: 10: 5-14
Bishop (elect) Khalid Rehmat OFM Cap was grateful for the presence of Archbishop Shaw and he encouraged the deacons saying, “Your most fundamental duty is to serve God and His people, to evangelize wholeheartedly. Joyfully embrace and fulfil the duties entrusted to you in good faith. You have the guaranteed support of the entire Catholic Church in all circumstances.”