50 priests gathered for the annual priesthood celebration on Monday June 1. The occasion, led by Bishop Peter Collins, was particularly special for the jubilarian priests, marking significant anniversaries of their dedication to the priesthood.
Honoured at the event were Fr Neville McClement on his 65th anniversary, as well as Fr Stephen Blair, Fr Philip Blandford CMF, Fr Michael Griffin, Fr Francis Selman, and Fr Keith Tullock SM, celebrating 50 years of service. Fr Brendan Moffatt and Fr James Fyfe were also acknowledged for their 40th and 25th anniversaries, respectively.
In his homily, Bishop Collins spoke of the crucial role of priests: “The priest is called to a personal and ministerial communion with Christ, the High Priest of the New and Eternal Covenant, who offered Himself in sacrifice for our redemption.” He elaborated on their role further, stating: “The priest proclaims the Word of God in the midst of the People of God; through his sacramental ministry, the priest sanctifies the people entrusted to his care; the priest stands at the Altar of Sacrifice and celebrates the Mass. In communion with his people, the priest unites himself to the Sacrifice of Christ.”
He also emphasized the priests’ responsibility to guide their congregation, saying: “All the faithful are called to stand at the foot of the Cross, called to embrace the Cross so as to find their way to the glory of the Resurrection. By word and example, the priest must accompany, guide and lead his people through this journey of faith.” The bishop concluded with a powerful reminder for the priests: “The priest, in full communion with the bishop, must faithfully adhere to the universal call to holiness. This adherence will be fulfilled according to the particularities of the priestly ministry.”
The event concluded with the bishop and priests enjoying a shared lunch, reflecting a sense of community and unity. This annual celebration served as a testament to the dedication and commitment of our priests, both to their faith and to their communities.
Pictured above, from the left, are Fr Francis Selman, Fr Keith Tullock SM, Fr Philip Blandford CMF, Bishop Peter Collins, Fr Brendan Moffatt and Fr James Fyfe.
Below are all the priests at the celebration with Bishop Peter.
Click here or see below for a full picture gallery of the pilgrimage.