6 July 2021 – Mother Patricia reflects on her ordination and joining St Aldhelm’s

On Saturday the 3rd July 2021 I had my Ordination to the diaconate at St Pauls Cathedral…

Before the Ordination myself and the other Ordinands spent the most marvellous three days eating together, communicating with each other, and regularly praying together. This part of the journey highlighted the ‘we’, and the fact that we were to join a royal family of priests by promising to care and support others as we spread the Gospel. This past 18-20 months have indeed been the strangest of times that I have ever experienced in my life. Covid regulations and restrictions have demanded complete separations not only from those that I was meant to study with but from those family members that live outside of my house. We have not met face to face and most of our studies have been online and through Zoom. The pre-ordination retreat was truly significant because it was the first space outside of our homes that was shared with others that were not family members or people that were parts of the households that we live in.

The ordination provided an opportunity for me to be with almost all of my children: Talyena, Samantha, my twins Zechariah and Dionne and the baby of all Elijaye, it also allowed me to be with my grandchildren: Monet, Mia, Bjorn and Jerome they were all present to share this transition and to celebrate with me as I enter this new realm of servitude – but I have forgotten to mention a person that really is equally as special – my baby brother Jeffrey! He reminded me in a conversation that the nickname that was given to me as a child by my mother was that of ‘doubting’ Thomas. On Saturday 3rd July, the day I was ordained, the commemorated saint in the church of England, was dedicated to St Thomas the apostle.

St Thomas was the one of the 12 apostles that was not present to see the risen Christ when he first appeared to his disciples. St Thomas stated  “Unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands and put my finger into the nail marks, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe” (Luke 20:25). Eight days later Thomas made his act of faith. He fell at the feet of Jesus and said, “My Lord and my God!” and Jesus replied, “Because you have seen me, Thomas, you believed. Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believe” (John 20:25-29).

Because of the ordination I got to spend time with my own family and with the family of clergy I am joining and now I have joined a new family with the people of St Aldhelms.  I thank each and every one of you for the warm welcome. For me, family is fulfilling, comforting and supportive. Together we will increase our knowledge in faith, and we open our doors prepare to welcome other strangers in our midst and like Thomas we can unitedly fall to our knees as we praise his glorious name!

With every blessing –

Mother Patricia