Ordination of Peter Wood to the Diaconate.
On the 11th of December, 2009, we have had the great joy of witnessing another young man be received into the Order of Deacons for service of the people of God in our diocese. Deacon Peter Wood has been studying at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Sydney. As a complement to his academic studies, he spent his pastoral placement in the Parish of St Augustine, Coffs Harbour, from November 2007 to July 2008.
Peter’s ordination took place at the Cathedral in Lismore. He is not a stranger to Lismore. He served as an altar server at St Carthage’s Cathedral before becoming an acolyte at the Cathedral. Service at the altar contributed to his discernment of a priestly vocation prior to entering the seminary. He is an old boy of St John’s College, Woodlawn, and served as captain of the school. Peter is also an old boy of St Carthage’s Primary School, Lismore, where he also served as school captain.
In the lead up to his ordination, Peter said that he felt excited by the fact he had nearly completed his formation after six years at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd. Peter also said that he felt a certain unworthiness in coming before God and His Church and making a profession to serve Jesus Christ and the People of God.
Peter’s ordination is a concrete sign of the Lord’s providence for the faithful of our diocese. Saint Teresa of Culcutta was asked once by interviewers about how she would organise the rescources for her homes. Mother Teresa answered, “The Lord will provide”. This is our belief, too, concerning priestly and religious vocations for our diocese. We see our prayers being answered in Peter’s ordination. However, God’s providence will unfold according to God’s timeline. Perhaps we are ready to have a whole batch of priests prepared to serve the diocese. But God will provide in His own time. We know that He hears our prayers and is answering. We are also filled with hope at the twelve other seminarians presently studying towards priesthood.
To any man considering a priestly vocation, Peter said that such a called needs to be welcomed and discerned. He said that, “A decision involving what we want to do for the rest of our lives needs careful attention through prayer and that we are at peace with ourselves”.
Peter will serve as a Deacon until his expected ordination to the Priesthood next year. It will be a time for him to grow in service of the people. However, his studies are not fully concluded and he will return to the Seminary of the Good Shepherd to do some extra courses. Peter will serve at the Cathedral until Christmas.
Please keep Deacon Peter in your prayers as he embarks on this adventure. We pray that there will be many other young men who will follow in Peter’s footsteps. We pray that such young men be given the grace to hear the Lord calling them amidst the noise and distractions of our contemporary society.
Reverend Nicolas Maurice