We celebrate the ordination of a young man into the priesthood

August 4, 2023

This week, we celebrate the ordination of a young Jesuit, Peter O'Sullivan SJ, into the priesthood. The ceremony took place at Farm Street Church, the home of the British Jesuits.

Peter O' Sullivan has been ordained a Jesuit priest a year after being made a deacon, which happened last year after completing his theology studies in Paris. He was ordained by Cardinal Vincent Nichols at Farm Street Church, home of the British Jesuits. Ordination in the Society of Jesus means two things: firstly, one becomes a priest like any other in the Catholic Church, where one can serve in the holy order of the priesthood, modelled on Christ, to serve, teach and counsel. Secondly, a member of the Society of Jesus goes where he is sent to administer the sacraments as a Jesuit, wherever needed, he lives in a Jesuit community and can perform a non-priestly mission if required, for example: astronomer, teacher, doctor, charity worker.

Commenting on Peter's ordination, the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Britain, Fr Damian Howard SJ, said:

"It was in Greece that he met a priest whose life's work involved travelling hundreds of kilometres to visit, support and minister to the many isolated Catholic communities in the north of the country. Peter was so moved by that freedom to spend his life on the road, dedicated to the service of God's people, that he realised he was himself being called to Jesuit life... What touched him most about his time at St Beuno's Jesuit Spirituality Centre in Wales was working with the parish priest in Rhyl, getting to know the people of God in one of the most deprived areas of the country. Peter tells me that it was the priestly service of the poor which struck him as the most important, and indeed, fruitful work."

As well as thanking the cardinal, the parish team who helped organise and prepare the ceremony, the people who helped him in his Jesuit training in Birmingham, Toronto, Windsor, Paris and Belgium, his family and friends, Peter O' Sullivan shared these thoughts:

"For the last few weeks and months, so many people have been coming up to me saying that they were praying for me. It has been just the most incredible, humbling and consoling thing. It has reconnected me why I followed this path, to be guided by Christ, who in times of trouble and difficulty would keep me doing what was needed where it was needed."

For those interested in a vocation with the Society of Jesus, you can find out more here.

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