It was a red letter day at Wonersh today as Rev Shaju Varkey (left) and Rev Tom Dubois (right) were ordained deacons by the Bishop of Clifton, the Rt Rev Declan Lang. Both have been in my sacramental theology class and I was delighted to see them take ascend this final gradus before their ordination to the sacred priesthood.
The Mass was expertly arranged as are all such functions at Wonersh. The Mass setting used was the Missa Orbis Factor. Immediately after Mass, the procession moved into the Ambulacrum, the central corridor of the building, along which there is a frieze with the text in Latin of the opening verses of the prologue of St John's Gospel: the seminary is dedicated to St John. In the centre of the ambulacrum there is an altar in honour of Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy, set up in by students and colleagues in memory of Canon Hallett, a former rector. The procession stopped there to sing the Salve Regina.
Among the various diocesan concelebration vestments and the seminary's Sorgente collection, two priests of Clifton Diocese, Frs Bede Rowe and Alex Redman added a touch of Romanità: