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News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool



Cath Pic Jubilee Issue-1

On 13 December 2023, at Saint Francis Xavier Church in Liverpool, the Reverend Lister Tonge was ordained to the Order of Deacon in the Archdiocese of Liverpool.


The Mass was celebrated was Archbishop Malcolm and was attended by several other deacons from the archdiocese.


During the homily, the Archbishop highlighted the unique role of a deacon in the Church, standing at the point of conflict or resolution between people of faith and the challenges of present reality.


Addressing Lister directly, the Archbishop spoke of the symbolic significance of the Chalice, which represents the tears of humanity—”both of sadness and joy”.


He underscored that the deacon’s ministry is one of service, reaching out to the lost and forgotten, touching the wounds of their hearts, and bringing the love of God to those in need. He emphasised the deacon’s unique role in serving God’s people, both in the liturgical setting and in the broader community.


Lister, who had previously served as an Anglican priest, reflected on his journey, expressing gratitude for the impact of his previous Anglican ministry and subsequent spiritual endeavours. He shared his discernment process, acknowledging the “generosity and encouragement” he received from Archbishop Malcolm.


Despite being a “dual passport holder” spiritually, he embraced the opportunity to become a Roman Catholic, feeling a call from the Lord. Lister highlighted the personalised nature of his formation process, which was adapted due to what he describes as his “great age and impaired eyesight”.


He also expressed that he was “humbled by the extent of recognition of my previous studies and my previous ministry.” His ordination as a deacon marked a familiar path, and he expressed a sense of coming home, resonating with the disciples’ recognition of the Lord after the resurrection.


“The welcome I have received from the Archbishop and Bishop Tom, from Catholic clergy already known to me and others I had never met, plus the warm support and encouragement of folk at SFX and at the Cathedral, leave me with an increasing sense that, however different the culture, something in me is in some way coming home.”


As Deacon Lister Tonge looks forward to his future ministry, including an impending ordination to the priesthood, the Archdiocese of Liverpool welcomes him with open arms, recognising the richness of his journey and the unique gifts he brings to the Catholic community

Lister Tonge ordained as deacon

However different the culture, something in me is in some way coming home.

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