The Ordination of Philip McKenzie
Editor’s Note: Philip McKenzie, like most Falmouthians, attended Falmouth All-Age (Barracks School). From there, he went to William Knibb Memorial High School. He subsequently received a scholarship from the then Bishop of Jamaica, John J.McCallany and went to Choir School (now Holy Trinity High School) in Kingston. He was an altar server at the St. Joseph Church, Falmouth and was a senior server at the Church’s opening on Sunday the 6th January 1966 at 17 Rodney Street, 50 years ago.
The ordination of Deacon Philip McKenzie to the sacred priesthood by The Most Rev. Burchell McPherson D.D.
Bishop of the Diocese Of Montego Bay took place at the Cathedral of The Most Blesed Sacrament
in Montego Bay on Saturday April 23rd 2016 starting at 11:00 am.
First Person Ordained From Trelawny
It was a sight to behold as family members, Friends & Worshipers of the Faith join hearts, Voices & minds to celebrate this historic moment. Deacon McKenzie was the First ordination for Bishop McPherson & he was the First person to be ordained from the Parish of Trelawny & the First in 12 years for the Diocese of Montego Bay.
It was a packed Cathedral with only STANDING Room. They came from Far & Near, to celebrate this Ordination of Deacon Mckenzie, Friends for life, Friends From the USA, August Town, Holy Rosery Church, St. Martin de Porres Church, All Saints Church, members of the St. Peters Anglican Church of Falmouth to name a few but they came in their hundreds. estimated attendance was 650 worshipers.
A service that lasted approximately two & a half hours (2.1/2) was FULL of the SPIRIT as it was moving. MC was Very Rev. Fr. Carl Clarke, Deacons of the Mass were Rev. Deacon Baldwin Powell & Rev. Deacon Francis Lindo. The Choir was The Diocesan Combine Choir.
Concelebrants of the Mass were The Most Rev. Hon. Donald Reece Archbishop Emertus Archdiocese of Kingston, Priest & Deacons of the Archdiocese of Kingston, the Diocese of Montego Bay & The Diocese of Mandeville. The Lectors were Paulette Josephs Philip’s sister & Douglas Williamson a friennd.
The First Reading from Isiah 61;1-3 read by Paulette Josephs
The second Reading from Romans 12: 4-8 read by Douglas Williamson
The Gospel came from John 21:15-17 ready by Deacon Patrick O’Connor
The Homilist was The Most Reverend Donald Reece. and delivered he did. Knowing deacon McKenzie for a long time he did make some meaningful reflections on his life and his journey to this day of his ordination. He spoke of the Readings which was about TREATING God’s children RIGHT bringing them the GOOD News, he reflected on the second reading of the One body with many parts (talents) but still One Body, About God asking Simon Peter son of John do you Love me ??? He instructed him To “Take Care of His Sheep” Three (3) times. The work of a SHEPHERD to care for his sheep.
The Service began with the Singing of the Song “IN YOUR HANDS” Lord I place today tomorrow, In your Hands, In Your hands, Lord, I surrender all. It was so fitting as the Choir & the congregation made their voices heard far away into down Town Montego Bay. This was followed by “All creatures of Our God & King, Alleluia Alleluia”. This was followed by “This is the DAY that the Lord has made”
After the “LITURGY OF THE WORD” CAME THE CALLING OF THE CANDIDATE.
The words “LET HIM WHO IS TO BE ORDAINED PLEASE COME FORWARD”
The candidate CAME FORWARD & was Presented by The Very Reverend Msgr. Muavesi. It was that moment we were all looking and waiting for deacon Philip McKenzie was brought forth and presented to the Bishop.
He took the “PROMISE OF THE ELECT & THE PROMISE OF OBEDIENCE” Where the candidate goes to the Bishop & kneel before him placing his clasp/join hands between those of the Bishop.
Following these There was the ‘LITANY OF THE SAINTS” where the Candidate Prostrated himself on the ground in front of the Alter while the Choir & Congregation sung the litany.
The “LAYING ON OF HANDS AND PRAYER OF ORDINATION” FOLLOWED, The Bishop FIRST lays his hands upon the candidate’s head & was followed by all the Priest present about 20.
There was the “PRAYER OF ORDINATION with the elect kneeling before the Bishop with outstretched hands.
THE INVESTITURE WITH STOLE & CHASUBLE, the newly Ordained stands before the Bishop and he is Vested with Priestly Stole & Chasuble & while that was taking place the Choir & Congregation sang “He never fails me yet”
THE ANOINTING OF HANDS & HANDING, the bishop anoints with chrism the palms of the newly ordained.
Some of the Faithful bring a Paten holding Bread & a Chalice containing wine mixed with water for the celebration of MASS & the Bishop takes it & place it into the hand of the Newly ordained as he kneels before him.
When all of this was done the NEWLY ORDAINED Received “THE FRATERNAL KISS OF PEACE” From the Bishop followed by all the priest in the sanctuary while the Choir & the Congregation sang out the song “OPEN MY EYES LORD” ALLELUIA !!!!
From here onward the Mass flowed as usual with the COLLECTION, THE PRESENTATION OF GIFTS, THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST & INCENSATION, During the Incensation the Choir & Congregation sang “WE SEE THE LORD”
After the POST Communion Prayer The NEWLY ORDAINED gives his FIRST Blessings to the Bishop. The hymns for the Mass was well selected & executed by the Combine Diocesan Choir,
I was very HAPPY I was able to attend, having known Father McKenzie all my life, we grew up as kids across the road at 22 & 25 Cornwall Street. Falmouth Trelawny. This was his life long DREAM come through to be a PRIEST.
May the Lord continue to Bless him and give him the STRENGTH to face many, many more Days, to carry HIS word & message to spread His words among his people. Alleluia !!! He is RISEN Alleluia !!!. Because He lives We can all Face Tomorrow !!!!
It was a sight to behold when the NEWLY ORDAINED PRIEST Father Philip Anthony McKenzie Walked down and BLESSED His Father Mr. Michael McKenzie. After the Mass a few Hundred that were in attendance lined up for their BLESSINGS from the NEWLY ordained Priest.
IT WAS JUST AWESOME AND SPIRIT FILLED as many could be seen tearing up & crying as they witness Deacon McKenzie taking his vows & becoming a Priest.
The Mass was followed with lots of hugging and kissing, Greetings from all over as it was another reunion of many who have not seen each other for some time. In short it was a BLESSED Day !!!
A reception followed at the Mount Alvernia High School (MAHS)
Photo Credits: Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
The author of this post is Wendell “Bull Bull” Stewart. Wendell is a Catholic, son of Falmouth, Trelawny who is passionate about his town and parish. He is a former Member of Parliament for the constituency of North Trelawny, which includes Falmouth and is currently the PNP Councillor Caretaker for the Duncans Division.