Hundreds of members from across the Diocese journeyed to the Spanish Town Cathedral on Sunday July 1 to support the five Ordinands who the Diocesan Bishop admitted to the priesthood and the diaconate in the historic and colourful Rite of Ordination.
The newly-ordained Priest is Nina-Rae Barrett, who is serving as Curate at St. Gabriel’s Church, May Pen. The four Deacons are the Rev. Mark Jones, who is assigned at the St. Andrew Parish Church; the Rev. Howard Walters, who has assumed duties at the Spanish Town Cathedral; the Rev. Hilda Vaughan, who is ministering at St. Mark’s Church, Mandeville; and the Rev. Craig Mears who will continue in his post as Director of Youth in the Education and Youth Department at Church House, while also working at the St. Andrew Parish Church.
Feed My Sheep
The Sermon was preached by the Rev. Louis Hurst, Rector of the Kingston Parish Church. He stated that, in the Rite of Ordination, the new priest and deacons received authority to exercise their ministry in a changing church and society; and he urged them to take seriously the task to tend and nurture the flock with love and humility.
His message focused on the pastoral image of the shepherd highlighted in the charge to “Feed my sheep” (John 21: 15-19) which Jesus gave to Peter in one of his meetings with the disciples following his resurrection. Rev. Hurst also made reference to the advice to “feed the flock of God” given to elders of the Church in 1 Peter 5: 1-4.
He listed several areas of ministry to fulfill these charges at a time when many persons had grown weary of the gospel of Christ.
“Tend them by caring about those to whom you are called to minister…Be interested in their interests, know what they face at work, share in their joys, and stand with them in their sorrows so that they will know that you truly care about them and you are not there to sell religion, or to fill churches,” Fr. Hurst advised.
He challenged the Ordinands to develop a life of personal prayer, embracing members of their congregation, the destitute and marginalised; and to focus on teaching and preaching the Word in a social context where people are contending with false teachings, doctrinal and moral confusion. He also urged them to make the Word of God so much a part of their daily life that it would be reflected in their presence and actions.
Love for Jesus Essential
Above all, Fr. Hurst who was ordained 30 years ago, said a successful pastoral ministry must be built upon a true, deep and genuine foundation of love for Jesus.
“If you do not have a love for Jesus you will not have the will or the energy to bear the weight for this ministry,” he concluded.