A packed church joyfully celebrated the ordination of Rev. Trevor Phipps to the permanent diaconate on December 8 at the Immaculate Conception Co-Cathedral in Basseterre St. Kitts.
The ordination Mass was celebrated against the backdrop of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception which is also the feast day of the Co-Cathedral parish. Bishop Llanos craftily balanced his homily to reflect on the significance of Mary in our salvation history. He noted that the grace of redemption had to be perfectly given in Christ as much as it was perfectly received in Mary. He went on to remind us that the immaculate conception of Mary was made possible because there was no original sin in her and as a consequence, she was able to receive perfectly [and], the grace of her redemption at the very moment of her conception.
“Tonight, the deacon to be…will be raised to the order of deacons to participate in that action of bringing the living Christ who is present in a unique and particular way by virtue of his office of deacon…” Above all, Bishop Llanos underscored that the diaconate was not a badge of honour, rather a ministry of service. “It is important to remember that this calling is not about you, but it is about Jesus in you for others,”
He continued, “Trevor, as a deacon you have been called to serve the people of God from the heart. Serve the people in love and joy as you would the Lord” he admonished. He continued, “like those once chosen by the Apostles for the ministry of charity, you should remain a man of good reputation, filled with wisdom and the Holy Spirit. Firmly rooted and grounded in faith, you are to show yourself chaste and beyond reproach before God and man as proper for a minister of Christ and a steward of God’s mysteries.”
During the Rite of Ordination of Deacon, Very Rev. Lawrence Malama presented the candidate and attested to his preparation and suitability for office, while the deacon to be stood before the congregation and pledged obedience to his Bishop. The declaration was met with rapturous applause from the congregation.
Just before the Laying of Hands by the Bishop, the new deacon laid prostrate on the floor as the choir sung the Litany of Saints, calling upon all the holy men and women of the Church to pray for the ordinand as he prepared to receive this Sacrament. At the action of laying of hands by the bishop, brother Trevor was declared Rev. Trevor. In quite a symbolic gesture signifying commitment to church and family, the new deacon given the stole and dalmatic with the assistance of his wife, Mrs. Vanessa Phipps along with Mrs Yvette Slack, his godmother and spiritual supporter. He then received the Book of the Gospels to signify his role of proclaiming the Word.
After Communion, the newly ordained Deacon took to the podium to offer expressions of gratitude to all of the persons who were instrumental in his faith formation, and more specifically, his preparation for the diaconate. He reiterated His conviction that God had a plan for his life. He noted that even when calamity could have struck his parents, they were averted by the grace of God. Trevor was also full of praise for his wife and children who have been very patient and supportive. He concluded by thanking everyone who has prayed for him and asked for their continued, fervent prayers as he now begins life as a deacon.