On Wednesday, 8th September 2021 Pat Culleton was ordained priest by the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton. The Ordination Service took place in St Peter’s Church, Bandon Union of Parishes, where Pat has been ordained Priest into Ordained Local Ministry. In line with the current guidelines there were limits on attendance, but the congregation included Pat’s family and friends, and members of the parish.
In his sermon Bishop Colton said that, in addition to the routine and rhythm of the ‘normal’ in priestly ministry, there is predominantly the unexpected and lots of surprises.
The ministry has its routines and so it should. As disciples we follow a discipline and a rule of life – things that are common to each day. Things that you are going to promise to do as a Priest when I put the questions to you. My overriding sense, however, is that ministry takes unexpected turns – joys and opportunities, challenges and disappointments, beautiful art and blank walls, and many alternatives – and all of us in ministry need to be ready for that – in every pastoral encounter, in each engagement with Scripture – most especially in our reading and study of those passages we think we are already familiar with – in our sacramental ministrations, in God’s on-going revelation to us of grace, of faith, hope and love.
Being the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Bishop Colton said:
One of those who, more than most, illustrates what I am trying to say is the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose birth we celebrate today. The scriptures are full of people who, like her, are confronted by God with unexpected demands and asked to go to places they never imagined they would ever go, to do things they didn’t think they could do. As you are ordained this evening, her response to God and her example should inspire you and all of us in ministry.
Pat is being ordained Priest into Ordained Local Ministry to serve in Bandon Union of Parishes. He has formerly been a Lay Pastoral Assistant and a Diocesan Reader in the Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross for a number of years prior to his going on to study for ordained ministry. Until his retirement ten years ago, Pat served as Chief Technician with Cork County Council (Western Division) after completing forty years of service. Before this, Pat joined the Army Apprentice Scheme as a ‘boy soldier’ and served his time qualifying as a carpenter and joiner. During his period of nine years of army service, he served a tour of duty with the 7th Irish Infantry Group, United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.