Q&A: Josh prepares for priesthood

Josh Moir will be ordained to the priesthood tonight (Tuesday 28 June) at Our Lady & St Andrew's Church in Galashiels.

You can watch the Mass live on the Facebook page of the parish here.

We spoke to Josh recently to ask him about his preparations for the priesthood.

What preparations take place ahead of ordination?
Along with practical planning I'm keen to find some days of quiet in the immediate run-up to ordination to the priesthood. I'm grateful to my parish which has been really helpful in making all the necessary arrangements as that gives me the chance to relax a little and spend time in prayer with the Lord.

What happens at an ordination?
I will be made a priest by Archbishop Leo Cushley laying his hands on my head. As a priest, I will be able to celebrate Mass for the people, hear. Confessions, anoint the sick and the dying, and will share in the Archbishop's mission to guide the people of God. Having made promises to God at the time of my ordination to the diaconate, I will make further promises related to the priesthood, as well as renewing my promise to obedience.

What are you most looking forward to in your ministry?
The very notion of celebrating Mass is something I find very moving, and in a special way I look forward to spreading God's mercy and forgiveness as a confessor.

What happens next?
I will be heading back to Rome for a final year of study. I hope that I will be of some use to the guys who are continuing in formation at the Scots College.

What advice would you give someone discerning a vocation?
Go before the Lord in prayer, and ask Him how best you might serve Him. If thoughts of the priesthood continue then talk it through with a priest or speak to the vocations director for the Archdiocese.

Josh Moir will be ordained to the priesthood on Tuesday 28 June at Our Lady & St Andrew's Church in Galashiels. If you are interested in finding our more about the priesthood contact Fr Andrew Garden on 0131 663 4286, vocations@staned.org.uk. For the religious life, contact Sr Mirjam Hugens FSO on 0131 623 8902, religiousvocations@staned.org.uk.

Seminarians instituted as Acolytes in Rome

Six Scottish seminarians were instituted as Acolytes by Bishop Paul Tighe at the Scots College in Rome on Sunday.

They include Alessio Marchetti (above, second left), a seminarian of the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, who is a fourth year student at the college. He is pictured with Fr Nick Welsh (left, vice rector of the Scots College and a priest of our Archdiocese) and Deacon Josh Moir (right, who is being ordained to the priesthood for our Archdiocese this summer).

Bishop Tighe, also pictured, is Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

The new acolytes are pictured above (front row from left): Ciaran Rooney (Glasgow Archdiocese), Aidan Matheson (Aberdeen Diocese), Alessio Marchetti (St Andrews & Edinburgh Archdiocese), Michael Kearns (Glasgow Archdiocese), Christopher Furmage (Motherwell Diocese) and Paul Laverty (Paisley Diocese).

May God bless them on their journey to the Priesthood.

An acolyte is a milestone on the journey to priesthood, usually conferred in the fourth year of study at seminary. The next stage is diaconate, followed by ordination to the priesthood.

If you are based in the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh and want to find out more about the priesthood, contact Fr Andrew Garden on 0131 663 4286 for a chat or email him at, vocations@staned.org.uk. For the religious life, contact Sr Mirjam on 0131 623 8902, religiousvocations@staned.org.uk

WATCH: 'How do I discover God's will for me?'

"God has created me to do Him some definite service..." St John Henry Newman knew that each of us has a vocation from God to do his will on earth.

For some it will be serving Him in the priesthood or religious life. In the below video, Sr Mirjam Hugens explores how you can discover his will for you.

Gallery: Welcome to the priesthood Fr Martin Eckersley!

Congratulations to Fr Martin Eckersley who was ordained a priest of our diocese by Archbishop Cushley yesterday (Saturday 10 July) at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh.

Gallery

All pics by Paul McSherry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you're interested in the priesthood or religious life, have a chat with one of our vocation directors: Fr Andrew Garden 0131 663 4286 vocations@staned.org.uk | Sr Mirjam Hugens 0131 623 8902 religiousvocations@staned.org.uk

 

Homily: Ordination of Martin Eckersley

Fr Martin Eckersley was ordained a priest of our diocese by Archbishop Cushley on Saturday (10 July) at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh.

In his homily, Archbishop Cushley told him "be conscious of what you preach: let it always be about Christ, never about yourself or the cares of this world.  The cares of this world they will hear from everyone else: from you, people wish to know about Christ."

...

Homily of Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh
Priestly Ordination of Martin Eckersley, St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, 10 July 2021

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

A renewed word of welcome to the mother church of the diocese, on the happy occasion of the Ordination to the priesthood of your relative and friend, Martin Eckersley.

A word also of thanks to Mgr Burke and all his staff for welcoming us and preparing the cathedral to make this a safe and fitting celebration of one of the most solemn events of this year.

An ordination is always a joyful moment in the life of the Church, and it is also something very personal.

Today is the culmination of many years of preparation by Martin and those around him, of thought and prayer, of the testing, or proving, of a call to something unique.

To reach the priesthood demands a readiness to let oneself be led over time, and a willingness to come to know oneself and one’s limits, to come to understand one’s true relation to God and others, and to build in oneself the acceptance to serve others with all one’s heart.  So, this is surely a joyful moment, for you, Martin, but for all of us too; unrepeatable, unique, sacred.

The priesthood is something that is both sacred and precious to us because it comes to us from Christ Himself, and because it is one of the chief means whereby we have an assured access to the life of grace through the pledge of our Lord Himself.

Christ chose to share His sacred mission with the Twelve, gathered with Him in the Upper Room on the very night before He died.  His priesthood is intimately related to His person, and to His presence among us in the Eucharist and on Calvary, and in our remembering His death until He returns in glory.

The priesthood takes us directly to the central events of our salvation, and to our Lord’s own sacrifice of Himself, His kenosis, His willing offering of himself to the Father, for the eternal good of us a

Christ the High Priest is the supreme example to us of humility, of self-sacrifice, of willing obedience to the Father.

And so, this ministerial priesthood of ours is something not to be assumed lightly, but soberly and after much testing, reflection, and prayer.  This is the priesthood to which we endeavour to conform ourselves, and to which Martin has aspired in these last years.

With that in mind, today’s Liturgy of the Word has been chosen.

The first reading tells us of how God knows us to our depths, he treasures us and chooses us from the very start of our existence, even from the womb.  St Augustine tells us that we are known by God better than we know ourselves.

Upon our own realisation of this, our reaction is often that of the prophet in the reading: “But, Lord, you can’t rely on me, I am just a child”.

And yet the Lord’s grace is at hand, and He says to us, and to you today, Martin, “Do not say, ‘I am a child’.  Go now to those to whom I send you… [and] do not be afraid of them, for I am with you”.

Just as a child trusts his father or mother, trust in God’s grace, Martin, as you prepare to go and say the words that the Lord puts in your mouth, for the Lord will be there to protect you.

In the second reading, Paul, an Apostle filled not only with wisdom but also with the experience of many trials, conveys several important lessons to you in just a few lines.  Today you are to be entrusted with this sacred ministry, it is not yours by right; it is by an act of mercy that you will share in it; and you are not to preach yourself, but Christ Jesus as Lord.

You, like us, are only an earthen vessel, fallible, weak, and fragile but for the great gift that you will hold from now on.  From today onwards, for the good of those you serve, be conscious of what you preach: let it always be about Christ, never about yourself or the cares of this world.  The cares of this world they will hear from everyone else: from you, people wish to know about Christ.

People have a thirst to know more about Him: so tell them about Him, and bring them to a knowledge and love of Him, by always preparing well what you have to say, and by the example of your life that you set.

And finally, in today’s Gospel text, Jesus teaches His disciples not to lord it over each other, but to be servants and slaves of each other.  Christ means this word for all His followers, but surely, He means it in particular for those called to the priesthood, and thus for you, Martin.  Too often, the clergy have been mistaken – and have mistaken themselves – for leaders in the worldly sense.

“But, Jesus says, “this is not to happen among you.” Martin, take the Lord’s words to heart: be a joyful servant of all in the sense He wishes you to be.  Imitate the Lord himself, “who came, not to be served but to serve and to give his life willingly as a ransom for many”.  He did so in the garden and on the cross: imitate that selfless love by your own selfless love and your own joyful service of Him.

In that way you will bring many souls to God, and will always be a true priest of the new and eternal Covenant.

God bless you with a fruitful ministry among us!  Amen.

If you're interested in the priesthood or religious life, have a chat with one of our vocation directors: Fr Andrew Garden 0131 663 4286 vocations@staned.org.uk | Sr Mirjam Hugens 0131 623 8902 religiousvocations@staned.org.uk

HOMILY: ordination of Robert Taylor

Fr Bobby Taylor was ordained a priest of our diocese by Archbishop Cushley on Tuesday (29 June) at the parish of Our Lady and St Andrew, Galashiels.

In his homily, Archbishop Cushley encouraged him to "be a true shepherd of God’s people, to celebrate the Sacraments worthily, above all the Eucharist, and to model your life on the mystery of the Lord’s cross."

...

Homily of Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh
Priestly Ordination of Bobby Taylor, Our Lady & St Andrews, Galashiels, 29 June 2021

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

A very warm welcome to all of you who have come from near and far for the Ordination to the priesthood of your relative and friend, Bobby Taylor.

For my own part, I am very pleased to be able to celebrate an ordination to the priesthood; to do so tonight for one of our own clergy; and to do so in this beautiful and historic church of Our Lady & St Andrew’s, Galashiels.

I am grateful to Fr Kingham, himself a silver jubilarian this year, for his warm welcome to us all.  A warm word of thanks, also, to all who have prepared this church to make it a safe and welcoming place for our celebration this evening.

It is also very fitting that we celebrate Bobby’s ordination to the priesthood on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

Fr Bobby Taylor and Archbishop Cushley following the ordination Mass.

These are the great saints of the Roman Church, Peter, apostle of the Jews, and Paul, apostle of the gentiles, joyful bearers of God’s Word to the whole world.

This day is often used by the Pope, and Bishops throughout the world, to set aside men for priestly ordination, and so it is one more reason for us to gather today, in union with many others throughout the world, doing precisely what we are doing here tonight.

This sense of the universality of the Church is something that Bobby and his colleagues and friends from the Scots College in Rome will happily acknowledge, due to their time in the city, where men and women from all over the world, especially those who wish to give their lives to the service of Christ and his people, go for their studies.

And it is well that we take a moment to thank God for the inspiring example of so many young people who continue to be inspired to dedicate themselves completely to God, according to their gifts and talents and circumstances.

Bobby, tonight you will dedicate yourself again to some tasks that you first took up as a deacon, and to others that you now embrace in view of the sacred priesthood.  You have learned to serve like Christ, as a deacon must, and to place yourself at the service of all.  You have learned to be an ambassador of Christ in your preaching and in your daily life.  You have promised to be celibate, to be obedient to me and to pray faithfully the Divine Office.

All those promises remain.  But tonight, you must add to them a new commitment: to be a true shepherd of God’s people, to celebrate the Sacraments worthily, above all the Eucharist, and to model your life on the mystery of the Lord’s cross.

Being a true shepherd to the people entrusted to your care is a challenge that, if you let it, will purify your intentions and will mould you, perhaps gradually but very surely, into a more mature man and a wiser pastor, with a keen insight into human nature, and blessed with a merciful heart. Let the example of Christ, the Good Shepherd, be your inspiration.

The ordination Mass.

You will promise to celebrate the Sacraments worthily: since the liturgical reforms of the Council, we priests must still learn to direct hearts and minds to Christ, but we must also do so while avoiding the temptation to make the liturgy the instrument of our own importance.

Our beautiful liturgy, found in the books of the Roman rite, belongs to the Church as a whole, and it is not ours to do with as we please.  We are its guardians and its celebrants. If you celebrate it well, you will indeed direct people’s hearts to God, especially to the living Lord present in the Eucharist.

Let me therefore urge you to celebrate it to the best of your ability, and you will surely attract many souls to a love of the Lord and to their ultimate salvation.

Finally, as a priest of the new covenant, you are to model your life on the mystery of the Lord’s cross.

By the graces you receive tonight, endeavour to join yourself to the Lord, in preaching the Good News, in being close to the sick, and in imitating the Lord at the Last Supper, in Gethsemane, on Calvary, in the tomb.

Give yourself to the mystery of Christ’s presence within you, and His spirit that resides in you, and keep alive that sense of your dedication that marks you from now on and that is unique to a priest of the New Testament.

Be faithful to that dedication and you will be happy in this life, and blessed in the life to come.

If you're interested in the priesthood or religious life, have a chat with one of our vocation directors: Fr Andrew Garden 0131 663 4286 vocations@staned.org.uk | Sr Mirjam Hugens 0131 623 8902 religiousvocations@staned.org.uk

 

 

GALLERY: Welcome to the priesthood Fr Robert Taylor!

Congratulations to Fr Bobby Taylor who was ordained a priest of our diocese by Archbishop Cushley yesterday (Tuesday 29 June) at the parish of Our Lady and St Andrew in Galashiels.

Gallery

All pics by Paul McSherry unless otherwise stated.

Image: Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh.

Image: Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh.

If you're interested in the priesthood or religious life, have a chat with one of our vocation directors: Fr Andrew Garden 0131 663 4286 vocations@staned.org.uk | Sr Mirjam Hugens 0131 623 8902 religiousvocations@staned.org.uk

 

Tuesday: Watch Bobby Taylor being ordained a priest

Bobby Taylor will be ordained a priest of our diocese by Archbishop Cushley on Tuesday (29 June) at the parish of Our Lady and St Andrew, Galashiels.

Though attendance is by invite only, it can be watched live on the Facebook page of the parish at 7pm (click here).

It's the first of two ordinations to the priesthood in our diocese this summer. Martin Eckesley will be ordained at St Mary's Cathedral on Saturday 10 July.

Elsewhere in Scotland, Joe McGill will be ordained in the Diocese of Paisley while Chris Doig will be ordained in the Diocese of Aberdeen.

Find out more about Bobby and Martin's preparation for the priesthood in the below video. Please keep all four men in your prayers.

.

WATCH: Bobby and Martin prepared for priesthood!

Deacon Bobby Taylor will be ordained a priest of our Archdiocese this month! He will be followed in July by his friend Deacon Martin Eckersley.

We spoke to both men to find out more about their preparations ahead of this life-changing event in the below video.

Explore the call to priesthood or religious life. Talk to your parish priest or contact: Sr Mirjam Hugens FSO | 0131 623 8902 | religiousvocations@staned.org.uk; Fr Andrew Garden | 0131 663 4286 | vocations@staned.org.uk

Q&A: Dominican brother Samuel set for priesthood

Archbishop Cushley will ordain Br Samuel Burke to the priesthood at St Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday (25 July). He is currently a Dominican brother based in St Albert's Catholic Chaplaincy at Edinburgh University.

What are you most looking forward to in your ministry?
I’m most looking forward to celebrating Holy Mass: the Eucharist is the most wonderful gift that we have and it boggles my mind to think that God will use me as a priest to re-present Christ’s sacrifice at calvary. More generally as a Pastor, I’d like to try and be to others what good priests have been to me. I want to help people get to heaven - as well as trying to get there myself!

What did you do before the priesthood?
I practiced as a Barrister, taught law, and worked in British and American politics.

When did you decide to become a Catholic priest?
That’s a tricky question. Becoming a priest is not at all like deciding to become a lawyer. Rather, to adapt St John’s Gospel, I did not choose Him but He chose me. I believe Jesus made the decision first; I simply accepted. A sense of being “chosen” or “called” first dawned on me when I was 18 but it took me some time to understand it. Besides, I had lots of other ideas about what to do with my life and I had a crippling feeling of my own inadequacy but eventually - with time and prayer - I not only accepted but joyfully embraced the great gift of the priestly vocation in the Order of Preachers.

Has anyone in particular inspired your journey to the priesthood?
There are many people; it’s very difficult to single out individuals. Certainly, I’d credit my family with bringing me up in a loving home and with a strong spirit of generosity and service. I think also of the many outstanding priests that I’ve known and some that I haven’t known but whose saintly example has featured prominently in my path, including Pope St John Paul II.

What advice would you give men considering a vocation to the priesthood?
Have courage! Do not be afraid. Take the first step. Pray and listen. Respond generously. Above all else: love. God will give you grace.

The ordination of Samuel Burke is on Saturday at St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh. The Mass is private due to the current situation with Covid-19. He will say his first Mass in St Albert’s, 24 George Square, Edinburgh, at 5.15pm on Sunday. This Mass will be streamed live on Facebook and will be made available afterwards to view here.

Interested in the priesthood or religious life? Have a chat with one of our vocations directors: