Wednesday 27 November 2013

Lost Deacon

I`ve never worked with a permanent deacon before but on coming to this parish in August I found we had a permanent deacon, Osaro. I thought this was a good thing as it would be useful to have help around the place especially with baptisms as I`d been over-run with them at Forest Hall. 

Osaro is from Nigeria and had been in junior seminary there before transferring to the Netherlands to study with the Society of African Missions (SMA fathers). He left seminary there, married, raised a family and started training for the permanent diaconate. He finished this training in this diocese and was ordained a deacon on 18th June 2011. 

As mentioned below St Joseph`s has an African Mass once a month and a few weeks ago Osaro was appointed to be diocesan chaplain to the African community. 

This Sunday gone the African Mass was due to take place. Osaro informed me that a priest had agreed to come to say the Mass. However on Saturday night, at St Wilfrid`s, three men of the African group informed me that Osaro had emailed the to say he wasn`t coming back. I knew nothing about this. I hadn`t even had an email. On Sunday morning before the 9am Mass the bishop rang to tell me Osaro had decided to leave the Catholic Church and join the C of E!  He hopes to be ordained to the Anglican priesthood. The African community were completely stunned. 

I told people at the three Sunday morning Masses what had happened.I said we should thank God for the work Osaro did in his time here and keep him in our prayers. What does concern me though is that I suppose we are rather slow nowadays to say that we believe the Catholic Church to be that founded by Christ and entrusted to St Peter and his successors and that the fullness of truth is found in her. I suspect many young people have no idea of the claims the Catholic Church makes about herself and see all churches as much the same. It`s belief in the claims of the Catholic Church that keep me part of her when here is so much to be disheartened about. 

As it happens we have alarmingly few baptisms in these parishes. However it is sad to lose Osaro and he will be in my prayers.

Osaro, if you read this would you mind returning the front door key?!


  1. How very sad that he went and am saddened at how you were informed.
    Praying for you and the parish, as well as the apostate deacon.

  2. Thanks Father. It is all very sad. Nnot sure he qualifies as an apostate as that is renouncing Christianity. He is guilty of schism. Don`t know enough about it to say if he has fallen into heresy either.

  3. Forgive me father but is this an attempt by Osaro to perhaps come back to the Catholic Church via the Ordinariate when he is ordained a C of E priest??? Or would he not be allowed to do that??

  4. Rachel, I wonder if that is what Osaro hopes? However I can assure you that route is not posssible. I know someone who was a Catholic priest who tried it and who had a better case than Osaro because he was a convert to Catholicism but he wasn`t allowed to join the Ordinariate.

  5. Thankyou father,It will be interesting to see what happens!!!! I doubt very much that this is the last we will hear about this matter!!!

  6. Of course, I can't possibly know what is going on with this young man, but in reading this blog post, it seems to follow a pattern that is very common in Africa and other third world areas. A poor man with ambition finds religion to be a good route to achieve a certain amount of material success. So he signs up for free education, job training, food, housing, etc. In this case, once in the seminary, he opts out of celibacy, takes a wife, and continues in the path for the deaconate. Soon, he realizes that in the C of E, he can be a 'priest' and keep his wife, and still be upwardly mobile in his religious 'career.' It happens again and again. Careerism should not seem to match the life of the church, but it is beyond common.

  7. Unknown, that was interesting to leearn that it is a recognised phenomenon. Sounds like the kind of thing pope Francis would be keen to condemn.


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