Ordinations During A Pandemic—The Diocese of Central Newfoundland

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The Ven. Terry Caines

On October 14th Bishop John Watton Ordained the Rev’d Diana Sacrey to the Order of Deacons at St. Martin’s Cathedral in Gander. On October 28th, the bishop ordained the Rev’d Charlie Cox to the Order of Priesthood at St. Martin’s Cathedral in Gander. On November 6th, Bishop Watton ordained the Rev’d Eli Cross to the Order of Priesthood at St. Peter’s Church in Catalina. Bishop Watton stated at the ordinations, “that every priest is a sign of God’s love, a sign that he is still working in the world, still carrying out his plan of redemption, even in this time of pandemic.”

Each of the ordinands were asked: “What is it like to be ordained during a Pandemic?” 

Rev’d Sacrey stated: “To be ordained to the sacred order of the diaconate is a most humbling experience. I also felt the weight of what I was doing and what I was promising before God. Ordination in the time of COVID-19 certainly had a different flavour. The initial date for my ordination was in March—the week all closed down due to the virus. It had been much anticipated then, and all could come to the service. The most difficult aspect of this ordination was that it was by invitation only. I was ordained in the parish I had been part of since the age of five, and the parish I was and will continue serving in. Knowing the service could not be open to all, having to decide who would receive an invitation, was very hard as I did not want to have to make those choices. I did not want anyone to feel left out. I am very thankful that it was live on Facebook.”  

Rev’d Cox shared: “I was looking forward to my ordination on March 19th, 2020. Due to COVID-19, it was postponed to October 28th, 2020. Those seven months of waiting were hard spiritually, physically, and mentally to say the least. However, those seven months gave me the opportunity to reflect on myself and my vocation, and to re-examine the call God has placed upon me, which was affirming. While the ordination service was done a little differently compared to the ‘traditional Service,’ the Spirit was overwhelming! Even though I couldn’t physically feel the presence of the people, I felt the presence through the Holy Spirit.”

Rev’d Cross reflected this way: “My paternal grandfather, Skipper Eli, would always respond to hard times or challenges by stating calmly, “Perhaps ‘tis all for the best.” As one who chooses in life to experiment and be creative, God intervened and chose a new path through the process of my formation and ordination. After all, it’s to his call I’m responding, and this reveals a quirky sense of humour in a divine sort of way.”

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