It was on the feast of St Benedict 1992 that I was ordained a subdeacon by Cardinal Alfons Stickler. The ceremony took place in the chapel of the Institute of Christ the King seminary at Gricigliano, and this photo was taken in the main reception hall of the villa.
From left to right: Fr Frank Quoëx, Jean-Paul Descolas, John Fallon, myself, the head of Fr François Crausaz peeping out from the back row, Msgr Gilles Wach, Msgr Rudoph Schmitz, Cardinal Alfons Stickler, Fr Philippe Mora, Fr Dominique Vibrac, Gabriel Steylaers, Timothy McDonnell, José-Apeles Santolaria de Puey y Cruells, Joseph de Pautremat, Dominique Vattan.
These were still relatively early days of the Institute and the ghastly blue choir habits they now wear had not yet come into being. Late March is usually rather pleasant down there in Tuscany. The usage was (and still is) to confer the Tonsure, the four Minor Orders and the Subdiaconate before the Diaconate and the Priesthood.
Twenty five years already. Next year will be the twentieth anniversary of my own priesthood. My subdiaconate come under the patronage of St Benedict, and his holy Rule for monks and all who want to seek holiness has had a great amount of influence in my life.