On the shortest day of the year – 21st December 2013 – a great beacon of hope shone amid the grey Cardiff weather, as His Grace, Archbishop George Stack, ordained Michael Doyle to the diaconate.
For Michael, originally from the parish of Our Lady and St. Patrick, Maesteg, ordination to the diaconate has come after a long period of formation and discernment; listening carefully to the quiet voice of The Lord, and responding with generously and complete trust to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. When someone gives their life completely to God as a priest, and responds with an open heart to the invitation to, “come, follow me”, what occurs at the core of his being is not entry onto a conveyor belt, but a Grace-filled time of formation and transformation. Time in seminary, on pastoral placements within the parishes of the Archdiocese, and sometimes even time out to recollect, are significant events that enable us, through the grace of God, to model our life, whole-heartedly, yet unsatisfactorily, to Christ the Good Shepherd; the one who lays down His life for His sheep.
During his homily, His Grace spoke about this, and reminded all present that it is completely impossible to undertake such tasks lightly, and on our own, without the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, continuing to renew and transform our lives. Without such a reservoir of grace, only achieved through a deep relationship with God, our tasks become lukewarm, and we, as fragile human beings, are unable to self-sustain.
After the Prayer of Consecration, the newly ordained deacon Michael was handed the Book of the Gospels by the Archbishop with the words, “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you now are. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach”. These are significant words for Michael, as they mandate him to go out, into the darkness, and enable him to proclaim Christ, the light of the nations, in a very particular way. In a very real way, through these actions, the Archbishop repeats the words of Our Lord to his disciples: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.
Michael was ordained deacon in the transitional state. This means that, by the grace of God, he will be ordained to the Sacred Priesthood during 2014. This will be the first ordination since 2007. Continue to pray for Deacon Michael as he begins his new ministry among the People of God in the parish of Treforest. Continue to pray, also, for vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, and for those who are currently in formation. The picture above shows Archbishop George with the newly ordained Deacon Michael, and our diocesan seminarians Laurence, Jonathan, Robert, Daniel and Nick.
If you are considering a vocation to the Priesthood and would like more information, do not hesitate to contact Fr. Paul Miller, Director of Vocations on 02920 778 631, or alternatively, see the seminarians Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CardiffVocations.