Father Cornelius Boyle


The Faithful Virgin, Upper Norwood - First Ordination

Father Michael O'Dea, Parish Priest of The Faithful Virgin, Upper Norwood, Bishop Patrick and Father Cornelius Boyle

Father Cornelius has had a long association with the Parish of The Faithful Virgin, Upper Norwood, and a long journey to the priesthood.

He came to the parish from Ireland at the age of three in 1957. He spent four years from 1965 at Mark Cross, the Junior Seminary (closed in 1970),  and returned to his training for the priesthood at Wonersh in 2001. So he has the distinction not only of being the first priest to be ordained in the Parish of The Faithful Virgin, but also, most probably, the last priest to be ordained who had studied at Mark Cross.

Father Cornelius spent his pastoral diaconate at St Peter's in Woolwich and will take up his first priestly appointment at St Andrew's, Thornton Heath.

Bishop Patrick in his homily said:

'First of all I would like to congratulate you, Cornelius, on this very special day of your ordination. It is a wonderful day for you, for the diocese and for your family.'

He reflected on three hallmarks of the priestly ministry: first, the priestly ministry is a sharing in Christ's ministry; secondly, the priestly ministry is a 'prophetic ministry'; and thirdly, the priestly ministry is a prayerful ministry.

He also said: 'I pray that your preaching, your presence and your service will always be a source of hope for all those you serve, for all those you teach and for all those you reach.'

Bishop Patrick with Father Michael O'Dea blesses the chalice and paten that would be used for the Ordination Mass and given as a gift to Father Cornelius from the parishioners of Upper Norwood

A scene from the Ordination Mass

Bishop Patrick with Father Cornelius

Father Cornelius with Mgr Canon Jeremy Garratt, Rector of St John's Seminary, Wonersh

Father Cornelius with his sisters

Father Cornelius gives his first priestly blessing to Bishop Patrick ...

... and to his sisters ...

... and to the altar servers

The reception was held in the Virgo Fidelis School hall

Bishop Patrick speaks at the reception

Father Cornelius speaks at the reception. The envelope contained the letter of his appointment to St Andrew's, Thornton Heath ... news that he shared

Sister Bernadette, Head of Virgo Fidelis School, gives a present from the Convent

The ordination cake which Father Cornelius gave as a gift to the parish

Father Cornelius cuts the cake