It is not often a parish can say that that one of their own has been ordained as a priest but this is certainly something that our parish can say with great joy.
On the 7th of September at St Mary’s Cathedral, Fr. Peter Taylor was ordained as a Priest by the Bishop of Middlesbrough, Bishop Terence Patrick Drainey. Peter’s family along with Diocesan Clergy, and representatives from our parish, the Diocese and also from the Venerable English College in Rome and the Royal English College in Valladolid where he completed his training and formation.
This was a wonderful occasion for Peter, his family the parish of St Therese and the Diocese of Middlesbrough and that joy was present in abundance during the ordination. Peter has reflected on his experience of being ordained in the Catholic Voice.
Joy and Blessings after the ‘Whirlwind’
Fr. Peter Taylor Writing in the Catholic Voice October 2019
It feels not that long ago I was writing in the Voice after my diaconate ordination about that great day in January, writes FATHER PETER TAYLOR.
Since then it’s been a whirlwind of events – World Youth Day, the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, Faith Summertime and conference
all the while preparing for my ordination to the priesthood.
Throughout July and August, as the day drew near, it has to be said that I experienced some anxiety and a little stress trying to pull everything together, culminating in making my Oath of Fidelity before my home parish of St Thérèse of Lisieux, Ingleby Barwick, and a meal and time of prayer with young Catholics in Middlesbrough on the eve of the ordination.
Of the ordination itself, alas, I can remember very little – you very easily get caught up in everything that is going on. However, a few moments did strike me: one such significant moment was processing into the cathedral and seeing so many from across the diocese and beyond who had travelled to be there. It was a particular delight to welcome staff and students from the Venerable English College, Rome, where I trained, and, from the Royal English College in Valladolid where I began my formation, the Rector, Canon Paul Farrer, a priest of our own diocese.
The second moment that sticks in my mind is the laying on of hands and the kiss of peace of the priests. It is during these moments that you get a sense of the great fraternity among the priests of our diocese and, indeed, of all priests. It is very much a brotherhood, something I began to appreciate in a whole new way in those moments.
It hardly felt that my feet had touched the ground before I was preparing to celebrate my first Mass at St Thérèse. If anything, the whole experience filled me with more trepidation than the ordination. After all, at the ordination I had Father Phillip Cunnah, the diocese’s Master of Ceremonies, to look after everything.
Suddenly finding yourself in charge was a whole other experience. That said, it was a great joy and blessing to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in my home parish surrounded by family, friends and parishioners who I had grown up with – even if I had to keep looking round for the priest to speak, only to realise it was me!
Even after a few days the whole experience doesn’t feel real and I’m sure it will take some time to get used to being called “Father” and celebrating the Mass, but the joy that comes from following this vocation that the Lord has called me to is beyond words.
As Bishop Terry said in his homily, “Despite our weakness, if we are willing to work for and with the Lord, no matter how inadequate and confused we might be, the Lord will work with us, in us and through us.”
Even in our weakness, the Lord calls us to a singular vocation that he gives no one else. It is our chosen calling that has been given to us from all eternity and it is in following it that