Last week the canonry celebrated the jubilees of two of our confreres. Fr. Michael Gallagher celebrated 50 years of priestly life, having been ordained in 1958 – he was the first Premonstratensian to be ordained in England since the Reformation. Fr. Cadoc Leighton celebrated his 25th anniversary of priesthood. A Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated on Thursday 28th July and the sermon preached by The Right Reverend James O’Brien, of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. A hymn for the occasion was especially composed by a friend of the community and appears below.
1. Father God we praise and thank Thee
For this day’s felicity; .
Years of service in the priesthood
Measured by this Jubilee.
Sacrifice and prayer combining
Sanctify our earthly way,
As we go, Thy praises singing,
Through the hours of every day.
2. Crucified and risen Saviour!
Life completed here below,
Then ascended to the Father,
Leading us where we must go;
Left to us Thine own Apostles,
First of Priesthood’s noble line,
Other Christs now work to harvest
Souls for God, to make them Thine.
3. Come, Creator Spirit! Hallow
These Thy sons; once more bestow
Thine own heav’nly unction on them,
Guide them wheresoe’er they go,
Giving strength to arms that succour,
Grace for lives that preach Thy word,
Power to hands, Thy people feeding,
With the Eucharistic Food.
4. Trinity of might and power
Ever with them watch and stay;
Mary, virgin, queen and mother,
Austin, Norbert, for them pray;
Be their safeguard and their r’efuge
In this narrow, earthly fight,
Then at last, their labours ended,
Bring them to eternal light.
Words: © Anthony Dickinson.
Tune: LUX EOI. Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842 – 1900).