Saturday 15 August sees the last ordination of the summer for our diocese, as Michael Barwick is ordained a deacon by Bishop Alan. The ordination will take place at the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes & St Joseph in Leigh-on-Sea. In normal circumstances it would have taken place at his seminary.
Like Fr Paschal Uche, who was ordained on 1 August, Michael has been studying at St Mary’s Seminary, Oscott. Born in Chelmsford, he attended St John Payne School, where he was head boy. He has visited Lourdes with the HCPT group and the diocese many times and has a long association with the Brentwood Catholic Youth Service, working with young people as part of the retreat team at Walsingham House. Altogether he spent seven years there, including several as manager. He has been an MC at Flame; he travelled to World Youth Day in 2016 and has served at many other notable occasions, like the Mass in Westminster Cathedral for the Year of Priests. But Lourdes, as for so many, is the special place where he really felt the call to service and discerned his vocation, he says.
Although there can only be 30 in the congregation on Saturday, the livestream means that family in Ireland and friends across the country can witness his ordination and pray for him, says Michael. “I am feeling very excited about the day ahead. It feels right and I feel at peace.”
Members of his family and clergy who have been a particular support during his journey will be present: including Fr Dominic Howarth, Fr Martin Boland, Mgr Kevin Hale, Canon Martin O’Connor and Fr Graham Smith, Vocations Director. Fr Paul Keane, a Brentwood priest and Michael’s Vice-Rector at Oscott, will be present.
Michael’s ordination as a transitional deacon will take place on Saturday 15 August at 11am and can be watched on https://lourdesleigh.org/live