Bishop Noel Treanor says ordination of new priest a ‘day of hope' for Down and Connor
THE ordination of a young priest has been celebrated as a day of hope for the diocese of Down and Connor.
Fr James O'Reilly (31) from Poleglass was ordained at a ceremony on Sunday in Christ the Redeemer Church in Lagmore by Bishop Noel Treanor.
A graduate of St Mary's University College, Fr O'Reilly spent a year living and serving as part of a missionary team in Detroit, Michigan.
Upon returning home, he spent a further year working for Youth Initiatives; a Christian youth organisation based in west Belfast.
He was accepted to study for the priesthood in 2010 and entered St Malachy's Seminary, Belfast, in September of that year, where he began philosophical studies through the Maryvale Institute, Birmingham and Queen's University Belfast.
In his address yesterday, Bishop Treanor said the ordination was an occasion of Christian joy for the parish and community in Lagmore.
"Fr James, you take up your priestly ministry in a societal and cultural context characterised by immense challenges for the individual person.
"You step into priestly ministry in a time when the speed of life calls us to state and re-state for ourselves the meaning of our lives," Bishop Treanor said.
"We are constantly seeking to be sure of and to fine-tune the meaning of our lives.
"So in this respect it is a challenging time for families, for humanity, for society, for the state, and for the governance and organisation of global society.
"There is an urgent need to work for, to pray for and to encourage vocations to the religious life and to the diocesan priesthood.
"These consecrated lives of service to God and people stand as simple testimony to burning love of God and to the loving service of individuals, families and society.
"May this day inspire and energize each one of us to encourage young women and men to explore that call that they may experience to the religious life or to the priesthood."