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Fr Kieron O'Brien's 25th Anniversary
The whole parish came together on Wednesday 9th May to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Fr. Kieron O'Brien's ordination to the priesthood. The church had been beautifully decorated for the occasion and was full to overflowing for the Mass which was concelebrated by a Cardinal (Cormac Murphy O'Connor), a Bishop (Kieron Conry) and more than 25 priests and deacons whom Fr. Kieron had worked with during his priestly life. The congregation included members of Fr. Kieron's family, people he has worked with on his many jobs throughout the Diocese, parishioners from other parishes he has served in as well as the local Catholic communities in Chichester, Bosham, East Wittering and neighbouring parishes.
A lighthearted and amusing homily was given by Fr. Colin Wolczak who has known Fr. Kieron for many years and was present at his ordination in Crawley in May 1987. Fr. Kieron's brother Gary read the Intercessions and other members of his family carried up the Offertory gifts. At the end of Mass there were speeches from Cardinal Cormac, for whom Fr. Kieron had been secretary for three years, and also from Bishop Kieran. The Bishop was able to put to an end the speculation that had been around in the Parish as to whether Fr. Kieron would receive any special acknowledgement to mark the occasion by informing the congregation that he was to be made a Canon. This was greeted with prolonged applause. The Bishop went on to say that this honour was only partly in recognition of his 25 years of the priesthood but mainly to acknowledge the many roles that Fr. Kieron has undertaken in the Diocese, particularly most recently his work on Safeguarding for children and vulnerable adults.
After Mass the celebrations continued with a party in the hall of St. Richard's Primary School. As well as lots of beautifully prepared food and a cake there were more speeches and presentations of gifts to Canon Kieron O'Brien. A singing group from St. Philip Howard Catholic High School entertained the crowd and there was a solo from a very talented young singer, Ruby Kane, who had composed a song specially for the occasion. Canon Kieron had bravely brought out his photo albums from the time of his ordination and it was an interesting exercise in 'spotting the priests' who were present at the time and noting that there was a time when Canon Kieron had hair!
The whole Parish sends Canon Kieron its warmest congratulations on his silver jubilee.
Please also see article on the Diocesan website Silver Jubilee Priest Made a Canon