Sadly, the Parish of the Immaculate Conception, perhaps because of the transitory nature of its congregations, has not had a good record on producing vocations to the priesthood or religious life. We are fortunate to have Deacon Michael Panejko, who was ordained in 2009 and another parishioner, who, at the time of writing, is in the first year of his diaconal formation. The most recent vocation to the ordained priesthood from the parish was Rev. Fr. Paul Moss, currently Vocations Director for the Diocese of Birmingham and based at Oscott College. He is perhaps best known for when still a deacon completing his studies at the Venerable English College in Rome, he was honoured to be asked to sing the gospel at the funeral Mass of the late Saint Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in the presence of heads of state and dignitaries from around the world as well as a global television audience. He was ordained in 2005.
There is an overall shortage of vocations in the western Church, including in this country, leading to an increasingly aged and sparse priesthood with the looming probability that in the foreseeable future many parishes will not have a resident Parish Priest and may be served from or be amalgamated with a neighbouring parish becoming a Mass centre for the local Catholic community.
Please contact the parish office for more information.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders
So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my community. And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16: 18-19).
Through their Baptism, all Catholics are called to participate in the priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ, each according to their own vocation, as priest, prophet and king (Catechism 1546). However, since the earliest days of the Church, God has called some men and women to fulfil this calling in a special way; through the ministerial priesthood, permanent diaconate and consecrated life. It is through the ordained priesthood, especially that of bishops and priests, that the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ as the head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers (1549). The ordained priest, whose own unworthiness does not diminish the efficacy of what he does, not only represents the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, before the gathered assembly. He also, acts in the name of the Church when presenting to God the payer of the Church, above all when offering the Eucharistic sacrifice (1552). It is through the Sacrament of Holy Orders that priests share in the universal dimension of the Church that was entrusted to the apostles, to bring to all mankind the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ (1565). Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders one is enabled to act as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ in his triple office of priest, prophet and king (1581).