Ordination of Rev Don Hopkins as a Permanent Deacon
posted on 13 July 2011
Rev Don Hopkins and Archbishop Vincent Nichols
The Diocese of Westminster welcomes Rev Don Hopkins as a new Permanent Deacon.
The ordination of Rev Hopkins took place at his home parish of Our Lady and St Vincent, Potters Bar, Herefordshire on Sunday 10 July 2011.
The Ordination Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Vincent Nichols who was joined by many visiting priests and deacons. Followed the ordination, Rev Hopkins and friends and family celebrated his ordination at a reception in the Parish Hall.
Rev Hopkins said:
'It was a privilege to welcome Archbishop Vincent Nichols to the parish for my ordination. I have been a member of the parish community of Our Lady and St Vincent for many years, and to be accepted four years ago to go forward to the Permanent Diaconate Programme was a tremendous and exciting challenge. It was also a challenge for my wife Marian, and it has only been possible to continue because of her love and support. The support of my parish community and my parish priest Father Tim O’Connor have also been key factors. '
'One special moment of my ordination rite which stands out vividly, is that of the prostration on the floor during the Litany of the Saints. I felt a profound sense of deep gratitude for everyone who had walked along the way with me to that point - those who were present and those who were not; those who are still alive and those who have passed away. They were all with me, or rather I should say, I was present to them at that moment. As the voices soared higher, I remembered what my Spiritual Director had said to me “you will be a new man in Christ”, how true it felt as I stood up. Many people present shared how moving that moment was for them also.'
'The greatest challenge for me were the words spoken by Archbishop Vincent as he placed the book of Gospels in my hands and said the words “believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you preach”.'
'It was lovely to have so many family members and friends present on this double celebration, as it was also my birthday. '
'I wish to express my sincere thanks to all who have been involved in my formation. The formation team at Wonersh seminary, St Marys University Twickenham and especially the formation team in Westminster Diocese, also my friends who travelled and are still travelling the same journey with me. '
Could you become a Permanent Deacon in the Diocese of Westminster?
The guidelines below provide some general information.
• Single men over 35 who feel a call to service of the Church and the World who also feel called to a celibate life.
• Married men over 40. Most of these candidates will be in the world of work and will continue there after ordination - indeed it is the role of the permanent deacon to have one foot in the sanctuary and the other in the workplace.
• The men will have demonstrated the necessary maturity for a life-long commitment.
• They will be prepared to embark on a 3 year course of formation.
• They will be already working collaboratively with priests and lay-people in the local church in works of service and exercising some leadership roles.
Above all, they will be men of faith and prayer with a desire to serve others for the sake of God’s Kingdom