A Trio of Jubilees

7th July 2012 in Aylesford Priory

Three of our bishops celebrated Mass with the Diocese in celebration of their jubilees: Bishop John Hine ordained priest on 28th October 1962, Archbishop Peter Smith ordained priest on 15th July 1972, and Bishop Patrick Lynch ordained priest on 21st July 1972.

As part of the offertory, special prayers were said in turn for each Bishop, before each received individual roses: 50 golden roses for Bishop John, and 40 red roses each for Archbishop Peter and Bishop Pat.   These were then used to decorate the front of the altar.

The following is taken from the service booklet and was composed by Archbishop Peter:

On behalf of Bishop John, Bishop Pat, and myself, I would like to thank you all for joining us today as we give thanks for the gift of the ordained priesthood that God has given to us.   Although we were each formed for the priesthood in different places, all three of us will have taken to heart the Latin inscription in the Diocesan Seminary at Wonersh taken from St John’s Gospel (15:16) which, translated into English reads: “You did not choose me, no I chose you.”   These words of Jesus to the disciples must always be taken to heart in the discernment all Seminarians undergo.   It is God who takes the initiative and he calls those he chooses – and it is always His priesthood that we are called to share in, not something of our own making.

In October this year Bishop John will mark the Golden Jubilee of his ordination as a priest.   Bishop Pat and I are a little ‘younger’ in the priesthood, but we both celebrate our Ruby Jubilees this month.   As the three of us reflect on our years of ministry, and as you all join us in this celebration, let us ask Our Father in heaven, the Lord of the Harvest, to send more labourers to the harvest, to help more young men to hear his voice and recognise the vocation to the ordained priesthood He is calling them to.  

We are deeply grateful for your presence with us today and for your generosity and for the support you give to us and all the priests of the Archdiocese in so many ways.