Fr Andy with Parish Sister Hanna Murray. Picture by Francis Fernandes
The diocese of Arundel & Brighton was off to a flying start this year with the ordination of Andrew Moss ordination on Saturday. More than 50 priests took part and the congregation overdflowed into the aisles at the church of St Francis and St Anthony in Crawley.
Andrew had been baptized a Catholic but had not been brought up as one and it was only as a young man that he found the Christian faith. He spent time with the ecumenical community on the Scottish island of Iona before taking up a teaching job in Brighton where he became fully part of the Catholic Church at the parish of St Joseph’s. There he worked with young people and helped form the music group. It was in Brighton that he applied for the priesthood.
Andrew trained for the priesthood at the English College in Rome, studying at the Gregorian University for five years before heading to Ottawa in Canada for further studies. He returns there this year for further training before returning to the diocese to work in a parish.
Bishop Kieran reminded him during his ordination homily that Fr Andy must remember that he is a priest for others not for his own sake. He is to model his life on Christ and be a ‘portal’ or ‘gateway’ so that others can reach Christ. In the words of the ceremony of ordination he is to ‘lead the holy people in love and nourish them by God’s word’. He is to celebrate Mass worthily and preach well. He should also remember in the words of one of documents of the Church, On the Ministry and Life of Priests that he will be ‘powerless to serve people if he remains aloof from their everyday needs and concerns’.
Fr Andy at the end of the ordination gave his blessing to his mother and family as well as members of the congregation before joining everyone for a celebration in the parish hall.
The next day on the Sunday he presided at his first Mass at his old parish of St Joseph’s with again a full church of family, friends and
parishioners accompanied by beautiful and uplifting music from his old music group of young people.
Fr Andy's is the first of several ordinations to the priesthood that take place this year in the diocese.