Watch: A Journey in Faith – Archbishop’s Addresses at Pre–ordination Retreat
Archbishop Michael Jackson led the pre–ordination retreat for those who were ordained in Dublin & Glendalough in 2020. The Revd Leonard Madden and the Revd Alistair Doyle were ordained to the diaconate while the Revd Christopher West was ordained to the priesthood.
During the retreat, the Archbishop brought the participants on a journey in faith which looked at how they could develop their liturgical and spiritual lives as well as how all who are ordained can meet the challenges and opportunities created by the pandemic. The theme of the retreat was ‘The Unknown’.
The Archbishop’s pre–ordination addresses were filmed by the Revd Nigel Pierpoint and are available to watch below.
In the first of three addresses, the Archbishop said that the future is always unknown but this is magnified by Covid–19. He looked at how pastoral care has changed when gathering physically and visiting are restricted. “How is the church, as an institution, going to overcome or break through the barrier of social distancing to offer spiritual embrace – without endangering those who pray for the church day after day?” he asked.
He told those who were being ordained: “You, along with those of us who have been ordained for a somewhat longer time, enter a sustained period of experimentation and response where a ministry of encouragement is our best option and our true calling. But it also has to become once again a ministry with outcomes.”
In the second address Archbishop Jackson focused on the hymn ‘My song is love unknown…’ by Samuel Crossman. He wondered if the characteristics of the love unknown formed part of a pastoral sensitivity and realism as we walk with Covid–19
In the third address he looked at the work of William Campbell from Ramelton in County Donegal who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2015 following the discovery of a drug which could cure for river blindness.
Ramelton offered three pieces of advice which were relevant to those who were being ordained: keep notes, mind your language and avoid a life of excessive preparation – even though he does also advocate being adequately prepared. The Archbishop expanded on how this advice could be adapted for ordained ministry.