Congratulazioni, Deacon Andrew!

“Padre!” implored one of our local tramps as I made my way into the papal basilica of St Paul’s Outside the Walls, which is just over the road from the Beda seminary, for my ordination. I felt ashamed as I had no coins to give as I hadn’t put any in my cassock pockets – I hadn’t thought I was going to need any money. Dressed like that it was natural that he took me for a priest, but I reflected, “Why, I’m not even a deacon, yet.” A second thought came almost instantly: the yet would be redundant in a couple of hours. The habit doesn’t make a monk or the collar a cleric, but they are a sign to the world of an inner change and a symbol of dedication. I was going to have to get used to being on display.

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Congratulations, Fr Joseph!

St Stephen’s parish is proud to congratulate Fr Joseph Gulliford who was ordained by Archbishop John Wilson at St George’s Cathedral on Saturday 16 July, along with two other men who had been studying for the priesthood with him.  Joseph grew up in the parish and attended St Stephen’s Primary School along with his brother and sister.  His parents, Gillian and Charlie, are still parishioners.  Those from the parish who were able to attend the magnificent ceremony found it a very moving occasion; in most cases it was the first ordination we had attended, and a very special experience to queue up for a blessing from such a newly ordained priest.

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National Prayer Competition

The Knights of St Columba had conducted a national prayer composition competition on the topic: FOR OUR EARTH, YOUR PEOPLE AND OUR FAITH, for young people aged 8-11, 12-14 and 15-18 years of age. Congratulations to St Stephen’s parishioners Keira Fernandes and Katie Fernandes, who serve regularly at the 11.30 Mass.  The girls were awarded with certificates for their creative prayer-writing at the end of Mass on Sunday 22nd May. Continue reading “National Prayer Competition”

Apparitions of Our Lady in Ukraine 1914 and 1987

The Ukraine as a country has suffered very much and yet has been blessed by apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Kievan Rus – the land of Rus (862-1242 CE), a federation of peoples located in the region of modern-day Belarus, Ukraine and part of Russia, was the first European state to be dedicated to the Mother of God. This was done by Prince Yaroslav the Wise in 1037.

It is believed that in about 1505 the Blessed Virgin appeared in Hrushiv and that the local people had planted a willow tree at the site. Sometime later a spring of water appeared beneath the tree.

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