You are a priest forever....
Together with Sr. Eileen and Sr. Sabine, Dominican sisters, we had all ministered with Charles in the group 'Religious in Formation' so it was with joyful spirits that we travelled from Dublin to Derry for this great day. However it is thanks to Youth 2000 that led our paths to cross earlier with Charles. Indeed Youth 2000 was well represented as it also acknowledged the generous volunteering and support that Charles has been to the group over the years.
Fr. Charles was ordained in his home parish of Ardmore, Derry. It is always very special to see how the parish prepares for this day. It was truly a celebration of faith and family. As the proverb goes, it takes a village to raise a child. So too, it takes a parish to raise a priest!
At the back of the booklet where Fr. Charles penned some words of thanks, it was obvious that so many people had been part of the great mosaic of his life and contributed to forming him on many different levels. This is the beauty of the Christian journey. None of us travel alone but we are pilgrims together on the road of life. As Fr. Charles continues for a new stage of ministry and service as a priest in the Pallottine Order, we wish him all the best and assure him of many prayers and remembrances in daily Adoration. You can read Fr. Charles' homily for his first Mass here and yes, 'the lost sister' mentioned was yours truly. For those of you who know my sense (or rather lack) of direction, it actually came in useful here! Ad molto annos Fr. Charles! Buen camino!