The Catholic Parish of St Mary's, Egremont, will be rejoicing at noon this Saturday, when local man Michael Docherty is ordained to the priesthood by Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, Bishop of Lancaster. Their joy will be even greater than usual, as Michael is the only priest to be ordained in Lancaster Diocese this year. Michael, 33, was educated at St Bridget's RC Primary School, Egremont, before going to St Benedict's High School, Whitehaven. After completing A levels, Michael read History at Nottingham University. He then took up an appointment as a teacher of Religious Studies at St Edmund's Catholic School in Dover, where he eventually became acting Head of Department. In 1998, at the request of the late Bishop John Brewer, then Bishop of Lancaster, Michael started his training for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome. He remained there until 2003. During those five years he studied philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and theology at the Pontifical Thomas Aquinas University. He ended up with the degree of Bachelor in Sacred Theology, and with a Master of Arts in Dogmatic Theology. Throughout those five years, Michael undertook pastoral work in various parishes in Lancaster Diocese during the holiday periods. He worked in Ulverston, Kendal, Lytham, and also at Castlerigg Manor in Keswick, the Diocesan Youth Centre. He was ordained Deacon last 13 July in Rome by Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue. On his return to the Diocese as Deacon he was assigned to St Joseph's, Ansdell, on the Fylde coast, to complete his training for the priesthood. Over 400 guests from all over the UK and Europe are expected to attend, including some 50 priests. They will join his mother and father, Margaret and Mike, and his brother Craig. Margaret is senior receptionist at Beech House Group Practice, Egremont, and Mike, who works at Sellafield, has been a leading figure in youth Rugby League for the past 30 years. Craig is a member of the UKEA Constabulary. Source: Diocese of Lancaster
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