Let me introduce myself to you on my first weekend in the parish. I have been ordained as a priest for almost 30 years. I studied at Ushaw college, near Durham, and was ordained on 26th October,1991.
My Ministry began at Our Lady of Lourdes, Wanstead, as an assistant priest, with Mgr. Christopher Creede as the Parish Priest. After 4 years, Bishop Thomas McMahon decided to appoint me as Parish Priest to a small parish at St. Teresa, Rochford. This lasted for another 4 years before moving to a larger parish at Blessed Sacrament at Chelmsford where I also became chaplain to Broomfield hospital for the 6 years that I was there. Next came a move to St. James the Less at Colchester for 4 years with a move to St. Helen, Westcliff for 9 years. Then, 3 years ago, Bishop Alan Williams requested that I go to St. Francis of Assisi parish at Halstead before moving here this week.
I wish to add my thanks to Fr. Frank and his wife, Anne, for being in here for the past 6 years and for ministering in the parish so conscientiously and wonderfully. With your prayers, perhaps I will be able to replicate Fr. Frank’s care for you all.
Please do keep me in your prayers as I settle into the 2 seaside parishes.
As we here from today’s Gospel, true service is about loving unconditionally our brothers and sisters – following the way of Christ. This is the true worship which leads to eternal life.
God bless, Fr. Joseph.