On Saturday 29 July, in the company of family, friends and Friars, Michael O’Grady (52), was ordained transitional deacon in preparation for priestly ordination next year. “You are no longer your own property…” as Michael fondly recalls spoken on the day by his guardian, Brother Michael Copps.
Michael, a former HSBC bank employee in London, joined the Franciscan postulancy in 2008 residing at Chilworth, Surrey, and Canterbury before his entry to the novitiate in Ennis, Ireland in 2010. After 3 years studies and formation at the Franciscan International Study Centre, Canterbury, he enrolled at the Jesuit faculty of theology, Heythrop College, London University, graduating this summer with a Bachelor of Divinity degree.
The Rite of Ordination to the Diaconate was celebrated by Alan Williams, Bishop of Brentwood, at the friary church of St Francis of Assisi, Stratford, London, where Michael lives in Franciscan community. Sadly, Michael’s mother died in 2012 but his father and his two brothers and families were able to witness his ordination.
Presently Michael is enjoying a visit to confreres of the Saint Barbara Province, California, USA. In the New Year he will take up a temporary pastoral placement in Belgium where the Irish Friars have a parish serving English-speaking members of the European Union headquarters.
“I was aware of all the prayers, support and guidance that I had received during my vocational journey and it was a time of grateful thanks and celebration. My thanks to Bishop Alan Williams and the Friars who were able to attend, as well as family and friends. My prayer is that others may hear the call of Christ in their lives and follow in His footsteps.”