Jesuit priest honoured with senior university fellowship

January 25, 2023

Liverpool Hope University has presented Fr Denis Blackledge SJ with an Honorary Senior Fellowship.

Fr Denis has served as priest of St Francis Xavier church in Liverpool for the past 7 years and has close ties with the university. He retires this Easter.

Presenting the award on Hope Foundation Day was Stephen Davismoon, the Dean of the School of Creative and Performing Arts, which is next door to the church. He shared stories from Fr Denis’ life and ministry and gave thanks for the friendship, wisdom and generosity Fr Denis had given to the university in recent years.

The day began with an afternoon service at the church, and was followed by a delicious five course meal.

Speaking of his time at St Francis Xavier, Fr Denis said:

“I hit 80 at Easter and move into whatever ‘retirement’ might mean. The privilege of being parish priest at SFX - as our church is fondly known - for these past seven years has provided me with some of the best moments of my priestly ministry. I love the people to bits, and they’ve given me far more than I could ever give them. I’ve been part of a wonderful team amidst wonderful people, and just wish I were 20 years younger to be able to stay on with them. I’m going to miss them terribly.”

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