Ordination in Birmingham

Fr Roger Peck with Archbishop Longley; Fr Cross, Parish Priest, his parents Windsor and Rosa and brother William Pic: Peter Jennings

Fr Roger Peck with Archbishop Longley; Fr Cross, Parish Priest, his parents Windsor and Rosa and brother William Pic: Peter Jennings

Archbishop Bernard Longley ordained Fr Roger Peck to the Priesthood at Saint Peter Apostle Church, in Royal Leamington Spa, on Sunday, 24 January. It was the first time the new Archbishop had administered the Sacrament of Ordination in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

Fr Roger Peck, 43, was born in Birmingham and brought up in Halesowen, in the parish of Our Lady and St Kenelm. He worked in IT as a computer programmer with Book Club Associates based in Swindon, before he studied for the priesthood at St Mary's College, Oscott.

Archbishop Longley has appointed Fr Roger an Assistant Priest at St Peter's, Leamington Spa, where he had been Parish Deacon since September 2009.

During his homily on the theme 'The spirit of the Lord has been given to me for he has anointed me', Archbishop Bernard Longley said: "In the Sacrament we celebrate today our Lord shares his own priesthood with the friend who is in our midst, Deacon Roger Peck. 

"The readings remind all of us of what it means to be a disciple of Christ, sharing his anointing through our baptism and therefore sharing his mission. For everyone who has been called to the priesthood there must already have been a deepening awareness of what is means to be a disciple in the Church today.  As priests we have already experienced discipleship in our own lives and we are called to discern and encourage it in the lives of others."

The Archbishop of Birmingham emphasised: "The priest must become a living icon of Christ - especially at Mass and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation - so that through him the sphere of God's influence may grow in human hearts and in the world at large."

Archbishop Longley was the Principal Celebrant at the Mass of Ordination together with more than 40 priests, including Mgr Canon John Moran, Vicar General; Mgr Mark Crisp, Rector of St Mary's College, Oscott; Fr John Cross, Parish Priest of St Peter's and Fr Mariano Tarrosa, Assistant Priest.

The sanctuary looked magnificent adorned with flowers, and the music, beautifully sung and led by the choir, included the Gloria from the Missa De Angelis, and the Communion Motet, Ave Verum by Sir Edward Elgar, adding to a memorable occasion for the parish.

The first reading, from the Book of Nehemiah, was read by Mrs Nuala Scarisbrick. The second reading from St Paul's Letter to the Corinthians by William Peck, Fr Roger's older brother. The Gospel was sung by Deacon Michael Collis.

A chalice filled with wine and a paten with the communion bread were brought up by Fr Roger's parents; his father Windsor, who was born in Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, and his mother Rosa.

After the final blessing Archbishop Bernard Longley and Fr John Cross, Parish Priest presented Fr Roger with a special Blessing from Pope Benedict XVI. As he held the framed Blessing Fr Roger was greeted with warm applause from his brother priests, and the packed congregation, including his parents, family and friends, some of whom had travelled from the Falkland Islands to be present.

A buffet reception  was held in Leamington Spa Town Hall. Fr Peck celebrated his first Mass in the parish church at noon the following day, the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. 

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