A priest who spent six years working among the Masai people in Kenya has been appointed National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in England and Wales. Father John Dale - currently Dean of St John's Cathedral, Salford, and a former spiritual and pastoral director at Ushaw College, Co Durham - starts his new role next week. He succeeds Mgr John Corcoran, also from Salford Diocese, who has led the 'Red Box' charity in London for the past 15 years. Fr Dale, born in Eccles, Greater Manchester, was ordained in 1976. He served in Stockport for seven years before going as a Fidei Donum priest to help the Mill Hill mission in Ngong Diocese, Kenya. When famine struck the Masai during a severe drought in 1984-85, Fr Dale helped to organise and administer a highly-successful relief programme. He said: "I look forward in my new job to sharing in the worldwide mission of the Church with lots of enthusiastic individuals and groups throughout England and Wales. "The one motivating force we all share is that, wherever we go proclaiming the Gospel, the Spirit of God has been there before us to welcome us in truth and hospitality." Fr Dale, 52, added that his time working in Kenya had given him a feel for missionary work. "It was the most formative period of my life," he said. "The Church was on the move there, finding new ways of doing things."
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