Most Rev Philip Boyce, O.C.D., Bishop of Raphoe ordained to the Priesthood Father Damien Nejad, a native of Glasgow whose mother comes from Annagry.
The Cathedral of Saints Eunan and Columba was filled with family and
friends of the new priest for the nearly two hour ceremony. Also in
attendance were over 50 priests from the diocese and further afield who
concelebrated the Mass.
Bishop Boyce in his sermon said: “in our Eucharistic celebration here
today at Saint Eunan’s Cathedral, we have an added reason for joyful
hope and expectancy. A young man, Damien Nejad, approaches the steps of
the altar and presents himself for ordination to the priesthood in the
Diocese of Raphoe. He is following Christ’s call to be with the Master
for the rest of his life and to serve the people entrusted to his care.
Ordination day is always a day of joy and gratitude: joy at the
precious gift received, gratitude to the Lord for calling a young man to
his exclusive service in the ordained ministry”.
The Bishop spoke about the joy of the Gospel in the life of
a priest: “In your daily ministry, then, let people experience the joy
of Christ in your work, and not simply the burdens of your duties. Pope
Francis has spoken many times about the joy of the gospel and the joy of
evangelisation, notably in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium
on the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world. This is to be your
life in the years that lie ahead. You are to live and work with
Christ, “the very first and the greatest evangeliser.”
reminds you that “life grows by being given away, and it weakens in
isolation and comfort…it matures in the measure that it is offered up in
order to give life to others.” And he quotes Pope Paul VI who back in
1975 wrote that we should recover and deepen our enthusiasm, that
“delightful and comforting joy of evangelising, even when it is in tears
that we must sow… And may the world of our time, which is searching,
sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the
good news not from evangelisers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient
or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with
fervour, who have first received the joy of Christ”. (Evangelii Gaudium 10, Evangelii Nuntiandi 80)”.
The newly-ordained priest will celebrate his first holy Mass in the
parish of Annagry in the Church of Saint Mary Star of the Sea, this
evening at 7pm and afterwards give his first blessing to all present.