Realising my role as a Deacon during lockdown
A Deacon is called to serve God and his people in three ways: as a servant of the Altar, of the Word, and of Charity (love). Jesus says that “I am among you as one who serves”(Luke 22:27). Lockdown has changed all of us in ways which we need to examine with careful thought, taking and improving on the good and doing away with the negative. Lockdown meant that Deacons were not allowed to exercise their ministry as a servant of the altar, as priests were instructed to celebrate mass by themselves.
How did this inspire Deacon Sean to find extra time in lockdown to spend with the Lord in prayer, study, and reflection to complete his book ‘Only in the Crucified God – Questions and Answers on Faith, Hope and Love’ Read on to find out!
Becoming a ‘Servant of charity’
For me, my ministry as a deacon always had to have a practical element to it, so the first thing I did was to volunteer as a NHS responder.
I also approached the local supermarket, Morrison’s and asked them whether they would consider donating food to the Saint Chad’s Sanctuary in Birmingham, which provides support for asylum seekers and refugees.
In this way I could fulfil that aspect of my ministry inviting me to be a servant of charity.
Charity is love of neighbour and by extension love of God, Could you support our Coronavirus Appeal which is working to support refugees around the world?
Fulfilling the calling to be a ‘Servant of the word’
Lockdown also provided me with more time to spend with the Lord in prayer, study, and reflection out of which emerged the second element of my ministry, the calling to be servant of the word. Have you seen our prayers and reflections resources?
This gave way to the completion of a project I had been working on for some time: a book called ‘Only In the Crucified God – Questions on Faith, Hope and Love.’
To understand the nature of this project here is an extract, about what the book hopes to achieve:
This is a book about having somewhere to turn when life gets hard. At its heart is the belief that ‘Only In the Crucified God,’ can the ultimate truth be found. Using God’s word and his own insight on life the author invites us to explore our own experiences in the light of crucified love.
I felt that such a book given the dark and challenging times we were all living through was much needed.
Caring for our global brothers and sisters
Finally, one day as I prayed something happened and I can only describe it as a revelation from Our Lord. I would publish my book and donate all of the profits to CAFOD.
So, I made direct contact with them and simply asked the question, ‘Would they be interested?’
Their response was an overwhelming ‘Yes please,’ especially in the light of the devastating effect COVID-19 was having in the poorest countries on earth, amidst people least able to cope with it.
I am now, thankfully, back in the parish and once again exercising my ministry as a servant at the altar but I will be eternally grateful for the grace, which guided me throughout my period of lockdown to serve God and his people as a servant of His Word and as a servant of Charity.
‘Only in the Crucified God – Questions and Answers on Faith, Hope and Love‘ is available here.
Has the Coronavirus inspired you to be a servant of Charity too? perhaps you volunteered at a foodbank in the Southwark Diocese? Maybe you organised a Summer Of Hope fundraiser, perhaps you helped your neighbours with a bit of shopping, whatever you have done and continue to do, we would love to hear about it, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org