It’s been nearly ten years ….

That’s the phrase that has been going around in my head most of today.  I’m in Norwich, England.  I arrived here earlier today and tomorrow I will attend an Ordination of a priest.  It’s been nearly ten years since I’ve done that.  The last ordination ceremony I attended was that of Tomas Surlis in Tubbercurry and that was in the summer of 2002.  It’s hard to believe that almost a decade has passed since then and harder to belive that I’ve not seen a man ordained a priest in that length of time.  Changed times for sure!  When in the seminary and for a number of years after I was ordained, the annual ordination circuit was part of our lives.  There was such a sense of new life in priesthood as you attended the ordinations of other students from your own seminary days and ones that you’d know from the diocese who were students after you.  That is gone now for sure.  Hopefully not forever but certainly things are very different.

Anyway, I’m here now and glad to be here.  Tomorrow Padraig Hawkins will be ordained a priest for the diocese of East Anglia.  His parents, Mick and Nuala, live in Kilmovee Parish and invited Fr John Maloney and myself to attend the ceremony tomorrow.  It’s good to be here, not least to see Padraig so enthusiastic about priesthood and the future ministry he will live.  We pray God’s blessing on him and wish him well.

Earlier today we met Padraig and went to the Cathedral where he will be ordained tomorrow.  We spent a bit of time there and then walked to the Church Of England Cathedral as well.  A few photos to share!

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So say a prayer for him – say a prayer too that more might hear and respond to God’s call.  I’ll add a few photos from the Ordination later.

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