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Former catering manager ordained into priesthood in north Belfast

Tony McAleese is congratulated after being ordained yesterday. Picture by Matt Bohill, Pacemaker
Marie Louise McConville

A former catering manager was ordained into the priesthood in north Belfast yesterday.

Tony McAleese, who is 34 and a native of the parish of St Vincent de Paul, was ordained in front of family and friends.

A former pupil at St Gabriel’s College, Fr McAleese later attended Belfast Metropolitan College.

He worked in the field of catering management from 2000 until 2012 when he commenced his seminary formation in St Malachy’s, Belfast and philosophical studies through Queen’s University, which he completed in 2014.

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Fr McAleese then progressed on to theological studies at St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth in August 2014.

Having completed an undergraduate degree in theological studies, he also engaged in hospital and parish ministry and worked in various parishes including St Agnes’ Parish, Belfast; St Vincent de Paul, Ligoniel, and the parish of Downpatrick.

He also completed a hospital chaplaincy course in Clinical Pastoral Education through ACPE Ireland.

Tony McAleese (left) is pictured after being ordained in St Vincent de Paul parish, Ligoniel, north Belfast. Picture by Matt Bohill, Pacemaker

Bishop of Down and Connor, Noel Treanor said the ordination marked a day of "grace and rejoicing".

"We thank God for the gift of your vocation to serve the Church, the people of God, and the Christian community in our times and, we hope and pray, for many years hence," he said.

"In the years of your future ministry with the faithful, religious, priests, permanent deacons and bishops of this diocese, you will be called to work untiringly, imaginatively and creatively to sustain our parishes and Pastoral Communities as communities where the love of God is experienced, kindled, kept alive and responsive to the needs of the time within the local Christian communities, in our society and world-wide.

"With parishioners and clergy you may see the emergence of new models of ministry and pastoral care; indeed your service of Christ will call you, as it calls us as a local Church in these present times, to devise and accept new pastoral arrangements so that the spiritual good of all may be fostered and cared for."

He added: "Today we pray with you and for you, Tony, that you will walk prayerfully in Christian love, dedication and self-sacrificing service with the people of this diocese in the years and decades of your priestly life."

Tony McAleese being ordained yesterday in the parish of St Vincent de Paul

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