|Our newest priest – Fr Alan Hall - Dec 26|
|2010 - News|
|Wednesday, 22 December 2010 14:37|
Page 1 of 2
Last Saturday a packed congregation at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception witnessed the priestly ordination of Rev Alan Hall. Archbishop Edward Gilbert was chief celebrant. The liturgy was an unique one with some of the hymns being sung in Latin and Spanish, a reflection of the candidate’s love of and proficiency in foreign languages.
In his homily, Archbishop Gilbert stressed the importance of having a deep personal relationship with God in order to be true to one’s vocation. He said “unless you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, unless you sustain that in prayer, nothing else will work”. According to the Archbishop, failure in mission came when people have either “given up on or never had a deep personal relationship with God”. He added, “The demands of ministry will be too tough [and] it will eventually weigh you down.”
Archbishop Gilbert cautioned the congregation about “the temptation to shape the truth in order [for it] to be accepted”. He said Christians called to mission must not rely on tricks or gimmicks or try “to hide the parts of the Gospel that may displease its hearers”. Instead, he added, Christians must rely on the “power of preaching [that] comes from the Word itself”. He concluded his homily with a warning against arrogance, saying like the apostles, “priests must fulfil their mission as servants”. He added that the authority of a priest must be “understood in the context of Eucharist – surrender[ing] to the Lord before fulfilment and dying to self before resurrection”.
After the homily, Rev Alan Hall stood to be examined for the presbyterate by the Archbishop. The candidate knelt and made a promise to be obedient to the Archbishop and his successors. As the elect prostrated himself before the altar, Archbishop Gilbert invited the congregation to kneel as the Litania Sanctorum (Litany of Saints) was sung in Latin by Benedictine monks Brothers Paschal Jordan and Marius Williams. Assisting them was a combined choir that included members of Jubilee Generation and the parish choirs of St Anthony’s (Petit Valley), St Mary’s (Mucurapo), St Ann’s and St Patrick’s (Newtown), under the direction of Gregory Wong Fo Sue and Roland Joseph.
After the Prayer of Supplication, the archbishop laid hands on Rev Hall, followed by priests. The new priest was then vested with his stole and chasuble by his parents Ralph and Yvonne after the Prayer of Ordination. The Archbishop then anointed Fr Hall’s hands with holy Chrism, after which he assisted the Archbishop in receiving the gifts of bread and wine and prepared them for the celebration of the Eucharist. The rite of ordination ended with Archbishop Gilbert and priests embracing the newly ordained as a sign of his having joined the order of priests. Giving him a big hug was Fr Steve Ransome, who was ordained a priest at the same liturgy during which Rev Hall was made a deacon.
Family members, friends and well-wishers were eager to welcome Fr Hall during the Sign of Peace, and to receive Holy Communion from him as well. After the meditation, Archbishop Gilbert formally introduced the new Fr Alan Hall to a rousing round of applause and musical fanfare.
Fr Hall demonstrated his language skills in his vote of thanks using both English and Spanish. He congratulated Fr Steve Duncan on his six-year ordination anniversary, noting they now shared the same ordination day. He expressed gratitude to Archbishop Gilbert, the Seminary community and the many priests and religious – including deceased Fr Michael Moses and his first spiritual director, Sr Angela Moran SJC – for their support and encouragement. He also thanked his family for helping to prepare him for the priesthood, as well as various parishes, including his home parish St Mary’s, which nurtured his formation as priest.
A sharing of refreshments with a Christmas flavour followed at the Catholic Centre car park. – Michelle Hernandez
EDITOR’S NOTE: View photographs of Fr Hall’s ordination Mass on the Archdiocese’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/rcpos