Father Dr Winston Layne (in gold chasuble) administering his first Holy Communion sacrament as a Roman Catholic priest. (Picture by Ricardo Leacock)
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FORMER ANGLICAN PRIEST Dr Winston Layne is now an ordained minister in the Roman Catholic Church.
A packed St Patrick’s Cathedral witnessed “Father Layne” recite his vows during the ordination conducted by Roman Catholic Archbishop of Port of Spain and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Bridgetown, Jason Gordon, on Tuesday night.
Dean of the Cathedral of St Michael and All Angels, Dr Jeffrey Gibson; head of the Barbados Christian Council, Canon Noel Burke; retired Canon Gregston Gooding and Rev. Dr Marcus Lashley, all Anglicans, were among the congregation.
Also being ordained to the deaconate of the Roman Catholic Church were postman Fabian Alexander, insurance executive Michael Gonsalves and information technology consultant Alphonsus Joseph.
Rose to become canon
It was a poignant moment for 74-year-old Layne, who had served the Anglican Church in Barbados for several years and had risen to the level of canon.
He was ordained as “transitional deacon” along with another Barbadian in December last year, marking the first time in more than 40 years that Barbadians were consecrated on the way to becoming ordained ministers of the Catholic Church.
That was an unusual occurrence since Layne is married and is a father. He became the only Barbadian since Leslie Lett to have converted from the Anglican priesthood to Catholicism and serving as a married man. The three deacons ordained with him Tuesday night are also married.
Archbishop Gordon had earlier disclosed that the church had asked for and had received “special dispensation” from the Vatican for Layne to become a priest within the Catholic Church.
Layne’s wife, Vernese, assisted with the draping of her husband’s chasuble (the ornate sleeveless outer vestment worn by a priest when celebrating mass).
In his address, Gordon reminded the ordained of their promise to serve, telling them it was a moment of deeper service.
“Your call and your answering the call has brought you to a place where you are ready to serve the body of Christ in a deeper way . . . to put forward before people the truth.”
In a message prepared for the occasion, Layne wrote: “From my childhood and early adult life, right through to the present time, have been periods of serious wrestling with self and purpose. Then there was my answering the call to follow a priestly life in the Anglican Church . . . .
“The one thing I most desired earnestly then and now is to live an exemplary Christian life, to give the best of what I have to offer in the service of Christ and His church. I am here before you today because there is no other place I would rather be.” (GC)