Weekend of celebrations in Arundel & Brighton

Fr Peter with Bishop Keiran

Fr Peter with Bishop Keiran

The weekend of 9-11 July saw three important events in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton: The celebration of the Silver Jubilee of Mgr Tony Barry at St Wilfrid’s Catholic Secondary School, Crawley, the ordination at St Joseph’s, Epsom of Peter Andrews as a Priest, and the institution at the Friary, Crawley of seven men preparing for the Permanent Diaconate as readers and acolytes.

It started on Friday night with the institution of Paul, David, Neil and Simon as acolytes, and Joseph, Adrian and Robert as readers by Bishop Kieran in St Francis and St Anthony’s in Crawley surrounded by their families and other deacons. The four men instituted as acolytes should be ordained Deacons next year.

On Saturday it was the ordination of Peter Andrews to the Priesthood. Peter had been a Permanent Deacon but several years after his wife’s death, felt the call to the Priesthood. As well as being joined at the Mass by many family and friends he was joined by those he had worked with as a surveyor in London and Leatherhead Ambulance service for whom he had been chaplain.

Peter (pictured right with Bishop Kieran) never imagined he would end up being a Priest, and it was never his plan or desire when he was ordained a Deacon. The Lord had different plans for him, for which the diocese is truly grateful. He will begin his priestly ministry at St John the Evangelist’s, Horsham.

Finally on Sunday we celebrated 25th anniversary of the ordination to the Priesthood of Mgr Tony Barry, the Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Affairs and Moderator of Crawley Catholic parish. It was a wonderful celebrations with hundreds of people as well as priests and deacons attending the celebration Mass along with Bishop Kieran Conry and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor – for whom Mgr Tony had been secretary when Bishop of Arundel and Brighton.

It was a day of thanksgiving for the promises of priestly promised lived out over 25 years. He said “thank you to the Cardinal, Bishops, clergy, parishioners, colleagues and friends for the great patience and understanding you have shown over the years. I never ceased to be amazed at the generous and forgiving nature of the people of God.”

He ended his reflection by adding “In the 9,123 days that I have been a priest I have not once regretted, or doubted, my wisdom in saying yes to God!”

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