Deacon Sean would like to thank all parishioners for supporting his new book project, ‘Only in the Crucified God.’

Deacon Sean would like to thank all parishioners for supporting his new book project, ‘Only in the Crucified God.’ So far profits from the book have generated a donation of £882 to CAFOD. The book, in fact, recently reached number 6 in Amazon’s top 100 Christian Education books chart. ‘Only in the Crucified God,’ will continue to be available from or directly from Deacon Sean.

A Deacon – Lockdown – CAFOD and a Book

A deacon is a man called by Christ to be his servant in the world, after all it was Jesus himself who said, ‘I am among you as one who serves.’ (Luke 22:27) Traditionally the deacon is called to serve God and his people in three ways,

  • As a servant of the altar
  • As a servant of the word
  • As a servant of charity

However, everything changed when lockdown happened. Deacons were not allowed to exercise their ministry as a servant of the altar, as priests were instructed to celebrate mass by themselves. For me my ministry as a deacon always had to have a practical element to it, so the first thing I did was to volunteer as a NHS responder. This involved taking patients to and from hospital as well as delivering much needed drugs on behalf of the local pharmacy. I also approached the local supermarket, ‘Morrisons’ and asked them whether they would consider donating food to the Saint Chad’s Sanctuary in Birmingham, which provides much-needed help and support for asylum seekers and refugees. Their response was overwhelming to say the least. Several times I literally filled my car with food, taking it to a couple in the parish that then delivered it the Sanctuary. In this way I could fulfil that aspect of my ministry inviting me to be a servant of charity.

Lockdown also provide me with more time to spend with the Lord in prayer, study and reflection out of which emerged the second element of my ministry, the calling to be servant of the word. My background is in education both in schools and at Saint Mary’s College Oscott, the seminary for the Archdiocese of Birmingham, where I lecture on a part-time basis, my area of special interest being God’s word, the Bible. This gave way to the completion of a project I had been working on for some time, that being a book called ‘Only In the Crucified God – Questions on Faith, Hope and Love.’ To understand the nature of this project here is an extract, which summarises what the book sets out to achieve,

‘Where is God? What is God like? Does God love everyone? What is faith? Is Jesus God? What is the Trinity and how can it help me in life? Where is God when people suffer? I am afraid of death, how can faith change that? Where was God when I needed him most? These are just a few of the questions the author invites us to reflect on as we journey deep into the heart of the Christian faith. This is a book about having somewhere to turn when life gets hard. At its heart is the belief that ‘Only In the Crucified God,’ can the ultimate truth be found. Using God’s word and his own insight on life the author invites us to explore our own experiences in the light of crucified love. What emerges is something quite remarkable, a God who has never been absent from anything in life we have been through. This God is the God of crucified love, this God is the God of Jesus Christ and this book will deepen your understanding of his love for all people.’

I felt that such a book given the dark and challenging times we were all living through was much needed. The book itself takes a series of challenging questions and sets out to answer them using only God’s word – the Bible. Such a task also allowed me to fulfil that aspect of my ministry inviting me to be a servant of the word. In our parish I also took it in turn with the parish priest, each week, to write a homily or reflection based on the Sunday Mass readings, which was then sent to the parishioners through email as well as being placed on the parish web site.

Finally, one day as I prayed something happened and I can only describe it as a revelation from Our Lord. I would publish my book and donate all of the profits to CAFODThe Catholic Association For Overseas Development. So I made direct contact with them and simply asked the question, ‘Would they be interested?’ Their response was an overwhelming ‘Yes please,’ especially in the light of the devastating effect COVID-19 was having in the poorest countries on earth, amidst people least able to cope with it. This served to bring together those two aspects of my ministry I was able to exercise during lockdown that being a servant of the word and a servant of charity.

I am now, thankfully, back in the parish and once again exercising my ministry as a servant at the altar but I will be eternally grateful for the grace, which guided me throughout my period of lockdown to serve God and his people as a servant of His Word and as a servant of Charity.

‘Only in the Crucified God – Questions and Answers on Faith, Hope and Love’

by Sean Loone

Available from

More information about CAFOD can be found at

Deacon Sean Loone

Our Lady of the Wayside