BY Ian Dunn | June 10 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Vital role of deacons celebrated for Year of Mercy Jubilee

THE role of deacons was celebrated from the Vatican to Carfin for the Year of Mercy Jubilee for deacons at the end of May.

In Rome some 2000 deacons from all over the globe participated in the Year of Mercy Jubilee for Deacons, including Tony Schmitz, permanent deacon at St Mary’s Cathedral in Aberdeen, who met with the Pope, while the deacons of Motherwell had a special role in the Corpus Christi procession at Carfin Grotto.

Deacon Tony Schmitz delivered a special presentation to what he said was ‘the largest gathering of deacons ever held!’

“On the Friday there were assemblies held in three different basilicas, all for respective deacons and their families—for Italian-speaking deacons, Spanish-speaking deacons and, in the beautiful St John the Baptist Basilica of the Florentines, for the English-speaking deacons and their families,” he said.

“The largest Anglophone contingent was from the United States, and four deacons from Scotland represented the Scottish deacons: Graham Kelly from Paisley Diocese and Bill McMillan and Tom Gorman from the Diocese of Motherwell, along with myself from Aberdeen.”

Deacon Schmitz spoke about the ‘Deacon as an Image of Mercy in pastoral work’ saying: “We are each of us someone whom God wants to forgive. Someone he wants to clothe in mercy. Isn’t this the ‘good news’ they have not received? But as we receive mercy, so we can show mercy.”

The three-day event ended with a magnificent Papal Mass on the morning of Sunday May 29 in St Peter’s Square, after which Pope Francis met each of the speakers and their wives.

Deacon Tom Gorman, of Motherwell Cathedral, said it was ‘very significant’ the deacons were being recognised with their own special weekend.

“What we do is its own ministry, separate from the priesthood, and very collaborative,” he said. “To be with so many other deacons was very inspiring.”

Deacon Gorman said his only regret was that being in Rome meant that he missed being with the other deacons of Motherwell diocese when they renewed their vows at the Corpus Christi procession at Carfin Grotto.







—This story ran in full in the June 10 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.

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