There will be seven ordinations to the Priesthood in the Archdiocese of Birmingham this summer, writes Peter Jennings. In a statement issued yesterday, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said: "This is a summer of exceptional grace for our Archdiocese as seven new priests are ordained. "They come from different backgrounds and are of different ages. This shows that the priesthood remains powerfully attractive to those who seek to know God and serve God. It is a joyful and fulfilling way of life." The Archbishop of Birmingham added: "I hope many more men, young and of more mature years, will come forward to offer themselves to the priesthood." Earlier, Archbishop Vincent Nichols ordained Fr Andrew McCann to the Priesthood, at St Augustine of England parish in Solihull, West Midlands. Fr McCann, aged 37, who studied at St Mary's College, Oscott, has been appointed to serve as Assistant Priest at this parish, where he has worked as a Deacon for the last ten months. In his homily the Archbishop spoke of the priest as a "minister of life". He said: "On this 'Day for Life', kept by the Catholic Church in England and Wales, we remember that only in Christ do we find life in its fullness. It is the task of the priest to nurture this life, which blossoms into eternal life." Archbishop Nichols emphasised: "The life of the priest is one of service, in the Church, of this eternal life. This is the fruit we are commissioned to bear, and it is, in Jesus' words, 'fruit that will last'." (John 15). After his ordination, Fr McCann concelebrated Mass with Archbishop Nichols and more than 40 of his brother priests. His parents, brother and sister, relations and friends, were in the congregation for the memorable two-hour ceremony. On 7 June, Fr Cecil Rogerson was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop David McGough, at Our Lady and All Saints, Stourbridge. Fr Rogerson, studied at St Mary's College Oscott. Bishop McGough, as parish priest of Our Lady and All Saints, received Fr Rogerson into the Catholic Church. On 28 June, Fr Christopher Miller was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop David McGough, in the Church of St Wulstan, Wolstanton. Fr Miller, who studied at the Venerable English College in Rome, will serve as Assistant Priest at St Peter's Leamington Spa. On 5 July, Fr Paul Smith was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Vincent Nichols, at St Ambrose Barlow, Hall Green, in Birmingham. Fr Smith, who studied at Oscott College, will serve as Assistant Priest at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Redditch. On 12 July, Deacon Robert Devaney will be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop William Kenney, at St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham. Fr Devaney, who studied at the Beda College in Rome, will serve as Assistant Priest at St Austin's, Stafford. At the same ceremony Deacon Bernard Garratt will be ordained to the priesthood. Fr Garratt, who studied at Oscott College, will serve as Assistant Priest at the Immaculate Conception, Bicester. On 19 July, Deacon John Peyton will be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Philip Pargeter, at the Sacred Heart and All Souls parish in Acocks Green, Birmingham. Fr Peyton, who studied at the Beda College in Rome, will serve as Assistant Priest at St Patrick's Dudley Road in Birmingham and as Chaplain to the City Hospital. Meanwhile, on 27 June, Fr Joseph Welch, a member of the Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in Oxford, was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop William Kenney, at St Aloysius, The Oxford Oratory.
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