Prameel Joseph from St Luke’s in Peterborough has fulfilled a calling he has felt for many years after he was ordained to the diaconate by the Bishop of East Anglia at St John’s Cathedral.
When he was younger, Prameel, who is from India, joined the Rosminian Fathers religious congregation. During a discernment at the end of two years, however, it became clear the Prameel was called to live his vocation in married life.
He left the Rosminian Fathers and later found a pastoral role as a prison chaplain; for the last six years he has been Catholic chaplain at HMP Littlehay. With his wife Bigi he has had three sons: Clement, Calvin and Clayton.
A number of years ago he shared with Canon John Minh his continuing desire for ordination. Canon Minh encouraged him to “sit down and have a chat” and was soon affirming Prameel’s sense of calling. After four years of training for the diaconate he finally arrived at the moment of ordination on Thursday, 30th July.
In his homily for the occasion, Bishop Alan Hopes recalled the saint and martyr St Stephen. “Stephen’s story reminds us that no matter the cost it is always of primary importance to witness to the truth who is Christ,” he said.
Bishop Hopes drew attention to one part of the ceremony, the laying on of hands, which he said was “a symbol of the calling down of the Holy Spirit to give you new strength and…the sign of the apostolic succession transmitted through the Church”.
He concluded his homily by speaking of the ministry of love: “Love is the first priority of the Church. It is the Church’s very essence…This must be the hallmark of your ministry.”
At the end of the service, Prameel gave thanks to God in the words of the Magnificat: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour”.
He took the opportunity to thank Bishop Hopes publicly for “the encouragement you have always given”.
He also paid tribute to his wife Bigi for her support, and to his sons: “Clayton, thank you for bringing the rosary and saying: ‘Daddy, it’s time for prayer.’”
Picture: Prameel is ordained by the Bishop of East Anglia, Alan Hopes.