ARCHBISHOP Bernard Longley ordained Fr Roger Peck to the sacred priesthood during an uplifting twohour ceremony at St Peter Apostle church, in Royal Leamington Spa, writes Peter Jennings.
The ordination, on the afternoon of Sunday, January 24, was the first time the new archbishop had administered the sacrament in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.
Fr Roger Peck, aged 43, was born in Birmingham and brought up in Halesowen, in the parish of Our Lady and St Kenelm. He worked in IT as a computer programmer with Book Club Associates based in Swindon before he studied for the priesthood at St Mary’s College, Oscott, the diocesan seminary.
Archbishop Longley has appointed Fr Roger an assistant priest at St Peter’s, Leamington Spa, where he had been parish deacon since September 2009.
During his homily on the theme “The spirit of the Lord has been given to me for he has anointed me”, Archbishop Longley said: “In the Sacrament we celebrate today our Lord shares his own priesthood with the friend who is in our midst, Deacon Roger Peck.” He emphasised: “The priest must become a living icon of Christ – especially at Mass and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation – so that through him the sphere of God’s influence may grow in human hearts and in the world at large.” The archbishop concluded: “It is the desire of Christ that the good news, liberty and new sight he was himself anointed to bring, may reach others through the anointing we will witness today.
“We are grateful for this gift to the Church. Pray for Roger that the years of his priesthood may be long and fruitful, and that he may always bear witness to Christ in whose anointing he shares today.” Archbishop Longley was the principal celebrant at the Mass of ordination together with more than 40 priests, including Mgr Canon John Moran, vicar general; Mgr Mark Crisp, rector of St Mary’s College, Oscott; Fr John Cross, parish priest of St Peter’s and Fr Mariano Tarrosa, assistant priest.
The sanctuary looked magnificent, adorned with flowers, and the music, beautifully sung and led by the choir, included the Gloria from the Missa De Angelis, and the Communion Motet Ave Verum by Sir Edward Elgar, adding to a memorable occasion for the parish.
The ordination Mass of Fr Roger Peck was, in the words of Archbishop Bernard Longley: “An important moment in the life of the Archdiocese of Birmingham.” Fr Peck celebrated his first Mass in the parish church at noon the following day, the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul on Sunday, January 24.