The St Barnabas Society, a registered charity, operates in Great Britain and Ireland and exists to provide pastoral and financial help on behalf of the whole Catholic community to former clergy ministers and religious from other churches, who live in Great Britain and Ireland, and who have been led by faith and conscience to come into full communion with the Catholic Church. Find out more…
The new Director of the St Barnabas Society, Fr Paul Martin, was born in Barry, South Wales, and grew up in Newport. He was educated at Newport High School and graduated in Theology at St David’s University College, Lampeter. He moved on to study at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, before being ordained in 1981. After two curacies in the Diocese of Monmouth (Monmouth and Bassaleg) he was appointed as Vocations Secretary of the Additional Curates Society. He served in that capacity for four years before returning to the Diocese of Monmouth as Vicar of St Teilo’s, Alway, in Newport. He then joined the Royal Navy as a chaplain serving at HM Naval Base, Devonport, and the Clyde Submarine Base, at Faslane, in Scotland. It was while on retreat on the famous Hebridean island of Iona that he made the decision to become a Catholic.
Fr Paul was received into the full communion of the Catholic Church at Belmont Abbey, near Hereford, in 1994. After a period of discernment he was accepted to train for the Priesthood at Oscott College, Sutton Coldfield. He was ordained as a Priest in St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham, by Archbishop Maurice Couve De Murville on 10th July 1998. He served first as Catholic chaplain at New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, and later as Parish Priest of Corpus Christi, Ashmore Park. He then moved to Stoke on Trent to become Parish Priest of the Sacred Heart, Tunstall, and from there to be Parish Priest of the Immaculate Conception, Bicester. During his time there the John Paul II Centre was built and formally opened by HRH The Princess Royal in 2011. From Bicester he went to be Parish Priest of Our Lady and St Anne, Caversham, and oversaw the restoration of the beautiful shrine of Our Lady of Caversham which is located within the church. He was appointed as Director of the St Barnabas Society in April 2017 and took up his new appointment on 1st October. He is honoured to have been chosen for this important role and is looking forward to developing the unique mission of the Society throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Please remember him and the work of the Society in your prayers.
On Saturday, 27 June, the feast of St John Southworth, five men were ordained priests for the diocese by Cardinal Vincent. The five ordained were Rev Bill Bowder, Rev David Burke, Rev Cyril Chiaha, Rev Daniel Humphreys and Rev David Lucuy.
Fr Bowder and Fr Humphreys are beneficiaries of the Society! We send all these new priests and especially Bill and Daniel our congratulations, the assurance of our prayers and we give thanks to Almighty God with them.
Assisting with the ordinations were Cardinal Cormac and Bishop Nicholas Hudson and Bishop Mark Jabalé, Fr Roger Taylor, Rector of Allen Hall, and Mgr Roderick Strange, Rector of Beda College, along with over 100 priests from the diocese. Also present in the sanctuary was Church of England Bishop Robert Ladds. The candidates for ordination were presented by Fr Roger Taylor.
Cardinal Vincent began his homily by noting that it was a day ‘rich in gifts: given and received’. He said that the first gift was that of the men who were willing ‘to give their lives to the Lord in this new and radical way’. In turn they received from the gift of priesthood. ‘Through this gift we are kept bound to Christ, in bonds of love which alone can bring us to the fulfilment of life, our salvation, for which we have been created,’ said the Cardinal.
Recalling the gift of the lives of Cardinals Wiseman and Manning, and of St John Southworth, he remarked that they are shining examples of ‘what it is to be a missionary priest’. He spoke about the loss that each one of these great men incurred in following this path, noting: ‘We too can expect our own share of that burden, especially as we are called to public ministry in a society which organises itself without reference to God.’
In contrast, he also spoke of the joys of priesthood, quoting a young priest recently ordained who had been ‘overwhelmed at times at the deep love and respect that our people have for us priests’.
Cardinal Vincent explained it thus: ‘We are loved, we are criticised, because, like those who have gone before, we are Catholic priests. We wear the vestment and the collar with pride in Christ Jesus whose heralds we are.’
He enjoined the men being ordained always to ‘be ready with open hearts: to give yourselves entirely to the Lord; to receive these great gifts of Sacred Priesthood from the Lord Himself; to see the path ahead as one of true service, bearing all for love of Him, striving always to do His work, through Word, Sacrament and merciful pastoral care and thereby rejoicing always in this calling which is your hearts’ desire and your greatest joy’.
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