The Church of St Anne celebrated the ordination of Lazarus Anthony Jonathan to the ministry of permanent diaconate on July 6. He is the second permanent deacon in the Diocese of Penang. The first one was Deacon Clement Samuel from Taiping. The Bishop of Penang, Sebastian Francis, was the ordaining prelate and presider, with Archbishop Julian Leow, Bishop Emeritus Antony Selvanayagam and priests concelebrating. Deacons from Melaka-Johor were also present. The rite of ordination began after the Liturgy of the Word. Election by Bishop Sebastian and consent of the people was followed by the examination of the candidate and the promise of obedience. While the Litany of the Saints was sung, Lazarus prostrated himself before the altar. This was followed by the prayer of consecration by the bishop. Lazarus’ wife, Maria Alphonse,then presented the deacon’s dalmatic and stole to Msgr Michael Cheah, who invested Rev Deacon Lazarus Anthony Jonathan. This was followed by the presentation of the Book of the Gospels and the kiss of peace. In his speech, Lazarus said that he was very touched that his eldest daughter had surprised him by attending this celebration. Monica is currently pursuing her Masters of Public Health Nutrition in Seattle. Lazarus said that his wife is his greatest supporter, “You are the fabric, the purpose and reason for my complete life. If I had a flower for every time you have helped me, I could walk through a beautiful garden forever.”
Congratulations and welcome, Deacon Lazarus! Ad multos annos!