Aaron who was brought up in the seaside town and attended St Thomas a Becket Catholic Primary School and St Richard's, Bexhill. He is the son of a Filipino mother and Sicilian father. As a young boy he was an altar server at Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Church in Eastbourne - where he said his first Mass.
The packed church cheered with Bishop Kieran Conry who was joined by 60 priests including parish priest Canon Seamus Hester as he ordained Aaron in front of friends and family. Bishop Kieran reminded Aaron in his homily that in the ordination rite he is called first of all to care for the spiritual and pastoral needs of the people in his care; then that he was he must celebrate the liturgy especially the Mass so that praise is given to God and the whole community; and that he must preach the Gospel both in words and action to those around him. Only having done this is he then to worry about his own spiritual needs which he was to do by modelling himself on Christ the High Priest. In their turn parishioners, as a consequence of their shared baptismal priesthood, are required to support and pray for their priests in every way they can.
At the end of Mass Fr Aaron returned to church to give his first priestly blessing to family and friends before joining them in Eastbourne Town Hall alongside the Mayor and Mayoress, Greg and Claire Szanto for a celebratory meal. He was joined by his parents, and brother and sister as well as by friends from St Richard's, Bexhill, from Cardiff University were he studied Law, and from Rome where he studied for the priesthood. There were also parishioners from Shoreham, Camberley and Weybridge were he had spent summer pastoral placements. Finally there were many priests and deacons from the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton as well as other dioceses from England and Wales and beyond.
At the end of the meal Mgr Nick Hudson, the rector of the Venerable English College in Rome after a speech of thanks on behalf of all the guests read out a message from Pope Benedict XVI who offered him every blessing for his future priestly ministry. Fr. Aaron replied to this saying "I want first and above all to thank God for bringing me to this day and for the gift of priesthood."
Fr Aaron who has now finished his studies in Spirituality in Rome will be moving to Guildford later this month to become assistant priest at St Joseph's as part of the Guildford parish team.
Source: Diocese of Arundel and Brighton