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East Anglia’s Michael is ordained a Deacon in Rome

Seminarian Michael Smith was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of East Anglia at an Ordination Mass that took place at the Beda College in Rome on June 17.


Michael was ordained by American Cardinal James Michael Harvey, Archpriest of the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls, and who is based at the nearby St Paul’s Basilica..

The Beda College is for English speaking students and Cardinal Harvey ordained six seminarians – three from England, two from Sweden and one from Australia.

Congratulating Deacon Michael, Bishop Alan Hopes said: “I am delighted at the ordination and I am only sorry that because of the present Covid-19 problems, no-one from the Diocese was allowed to travel to support him.

“Nevertheless Deacon Michael has been supported by the Diocese through prayer and the offering of the Holy Mass for his intentions.  We very much look forward to welcoming him back when he returns for the summer break in early July.”

Deacon Michael said: “I felt the profound significance of the ordination Rite and I feel very blessed and aware of the responsibility that the Lord has given me.

“Though normally a much larger event held in the Basilica itself with many invited guests, this year’s Beda College diaconate ordination was no less moving and joyful for being simpler, in our college chapel, and with no guests.

“Amidst the additional protocols involving the wearing of masks and sanitizing of hands, due to the current pandemic, there was, nevertheless, the powerful richness of the ordination rite itself and the beautiful Mass was accompanied by hymns and singing a capella.” 

Deacon Michael worked in Cambridge before entering seminary and was a parishioner of S Laurence Cambridge. He has now completed three years at the Beda and will return to Rome in October to start his fourth and final year. After that he will return for good to the UK where he hopes to be ordained a priest in the Diocese of East Anglia sometime in the summer of 2021.

Unlike many seminarians, Deacon Michael was able to remain in Rome during the pandemic as all the formation takes place within the Beda College itself. Click here to read our recent article about his experience.

Click here to see a full picture gallery of the ordination.

Pictured top are the six new Deacons with Cardinal James Michael Harvey (Deacon Michael is front left) and, above, the Cardinal presents Michael with the Book of the Gospels.

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