During the Induction service and Mass, Bishop Alan reminded parishioners and Fr Antony of their responsibility together to promote the mission of Our Lord.
St Neots is a rapidly growing community, with many young and diverse families settling in the new housing areas currently being built on the outskirts of the town. It is our role as Catholics to reach out to them and show them God’s love, said the Bishop.
Bishop Alan also called on the parishioners to pledge their full support of Fr Antony in his mission. There is plenty of work for all, both practical and spiritual.
The Bishop and Fr Antony were joined in the celebration of the Mass by Rev Canon David Bagstaff, Vicar General and Parish Priest of St Edmunds, Bury St Edmunds, where Fr Antony recently spent a few months as Assistant Priest.
Fr Paul Peter Alphonse CMF from the Claretian Community at St Hugh’s, Buckden and Fr Arockia Seelan, Parish Priest of The Sacred Heart and St Oswald, Peterborough, also took part in the Mass, which was attended by many faithful parishioners.
After Mass, Bishop Alan warmly greeted each parishioner as they left the church. Many expressed their gratitude that he had made the long journey from Norwich and offered him their prayers of love and support in his work.
Parish Secretary, Theresa Madden, said: “It was a most uplifting occasion, giving parishioners the opportunity to reflect on how they are all part of God’s plan and how they can – and must – contribute.”
Pictured above, Bishop Alan Hopes inducts Fr Antony Arockiam to St Joseph’s in St Neots.