New priests bring lasting joys for all, and graces from God. Even more so when they are ordained locally. We at the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter are very grateful to Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, our local Ordinary in Liverpool, for having agreed to ordain two of our deacons to the sacred priesthood. The ceremony will take place next year at St Mary’s Shrine Church in Warrington, on Saturday, June 17 at 11am. It will be in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite. All are welcome.

The first candidate is Alex Stewart, from Wallasey, across the water from Liverpool. Born in 1974, Alex worked in Ireland in a tourism resort for several years and was a committed surfer. He was admitted to our American seminary in September 2010. The second is Krzysztof Sanetra, who was born in Poland in 1983. After gaining a master’s degree in political science in Kraków, Krzysztof spent his last three years in the secular world in Ramsgate and London, and heard God’s call.

This could be the first time for decades that priests will be ordained in the Extraordinary Form in England. While more bishops worldwide do so – even in their own cathedrals, as in Sydney, Lincoln and Omaha, Toulon and Linz – it does not seem to have occurred over here since the liturgical changes.

St Mary’s Shrine Church is a fitting place for the ceremony, due to its beautiful Pugin design and because Archbishop McMahon has established it as “a centre for the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of Mass and the sacraments”.

Our Fraternity is blessed with one priest from England ordained every year. Fr James Mawdsley was ordained in July and Fr Ian Verrier in the year before. Both serve in England. In previous years we had Frs Harkins, Goddard, Gerard and Loewenstein. We also have eight seminarians from England, Wales and Ireland. Please God, this will ensure at least one more priest ordained on each of the coming years.

This leads us to give thanks, but surely not to be complacent. When the need for priests is becoming so dire across England and the West, clergy and laity alike must urgently implement the programme outlined in the Vatican II document Optatam Totius: “Urgent prayer, Christian penance and a constantly more intensive training of the faithful […] will show forth the need, the nature and the importance of the priestly vocation.”

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