A member of the Carmelite community at Aylesford Priory in Maidstone, Kent, Michael Cox, is being ordained priest this Friday, 2 February by Bishop Malcolm McMahon. The ceremony will take place in the Relic Chapel at the Priory. Michael comes from Nottingham. After leaving school he worked for local government. Although Michael was baptised as a child, his family didn't practice any faith. "They left it up to us to decide." he said. "I searched and prayed and the Catholic church just seemed right." Michael became a Catholic at 20. This lead him to voluntary work with the homeless and young people with disabilities. In 1992, at the age of 23, Michael joined the community at Aylesford. After a year as a novice he made his first vows. He then joined the Carmelite community in north London where he studied philosophy and theology at Mill Hill. During this time he was involved in a variety of pastoral work including some time with the Carmelite community in Cheltenham. He graduated with first class degrees from Middlesex and Leuven universities. Michael made his solemn vows as a Carmelite friar in September 1999 and was ordained deacon in his home parish in Nottingham in March last year. Besides sharing in the life of the Priory he has ministered in the Catholic parish at West Malling and the chaplaincy team at Maidstone hospital. Speaking about his ordination Michael said: "I do feel nervous about it from time to time, but then there is a feeling of logical progression about it." Michael's mother Mrs Irene Cox will be present at his ordination with his brother Darren and other family and friends. Sadly Michael's father David died in 1997. Bishop Malcolm has only recently become Bishop of Nottingham and Michael will be the first person he has ordained.
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