Today, three seminarians from the college were ordained to the order of the diaconate by Hugh Gilbert, Bishop of Aberdeen.
The May Bank Holiday weekend is the traditional date in the Scots College diary for the ordination of deacons. This year Emmet O’Dowd and Rafał Szweda from the Diocese of Aberdeen and Emmanuel Alagbaoso for the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles were ordained in the St. Andrews Chapel at the college.
Bishop Gilbert officiated, and before the rite of the ordination began he identified the three main characters of the Road to Emmaus passage to the three deacons.
Speaking directly to the new deacons, Bishop Hugh reminded them that the Sacraments celebrated are “…acts of God, fires from heaven that transport us to the landscape of the Risen Christ.” Through the sacraments, the bishop said to the congregation that Jesus converted our lives into moments at the table with Him and his disciples and that specifically through the sacraments of mission such as marriage and holy orders we are given tasks by the Lord.
He said that to be a deacon, was “to be Christlike”. He used the words of Pope Francis at the Jubilee for Deacons last year as he urged that to be a deacon, to be Christlike meant that men are called not to “…horde your free time, give up the idea of being the master of your day, don’t serve timetables, don’t be a slave to your own agenda, be available and ever ready to the unexpected, brothers and sisters and God’s surprises.” To be such would “…not be self-serving but evangelically fruitful.”
The new deacons were joined by members of their families and friends for Mass and then after a reception in the spring weather of Rome. The following day, Monday 1st May, the deacons were able to celebrate with friends and family a Mass of Thanksgiving, at which they served for the first time alongside clergy from their home diocese.