Mass to mark 60 years of diocesan priests

from Catholic News - 29th September, 2013










Some of the early seminarians at the Seminary of St John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs (from left): Vincent Compton, Sydney Charles, John Mendes,Archbishop Finbar Ryan, Fred Patience, Urban Peschier and David Oliveire.Archbishop Joseph Harris and Auxiliary Bishop Robert Llanos are expected to preside at a Mass to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the priestly ordination of the first graduates of the Seminary of St John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs: Fr Fred Patience, Bishop John Mendes and Msgr Urban Peschier












The Mass will be celebrated Monday, November 4, which is expected to be the Divali holiday, from 10 a.m. at the Pro-Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, San Fernando.  It is being organised by diocesan clergy in association with the Benedictine community and other religious clergy.  On January 26, 1943, an archdiocesan seminary to prepare local candidates for the priesthood was opened by then Archbishop Count Finbar Ryan, and placed in the care of the Benedictine Abbey.  On November 1, 1953, Archbishop Ryan ordained the seminary’s first priests – Fr Patience (died 1971), Bishop Mendes (died 2005) and Msgr Urban Peschier (died March this year). In 1970 it became a Regional Seminary – preparing diocesan priests for St Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, St Vincent, Barbados, Guyana, Suriname, Curacao, Bahamas, Jamaica and Antigua – until its closure in May 2010. Speaking about the Mass, Msgr Christian Pereira, Vicar for the Southern Vicariate, and parish priest of San Fernando, told the Catholic News: “This is a moment of grace for the local Church as these graduates went as pioneers into an area of life that was not easily welcoming.” He added, “It is a privilege for us to give thanks to God for their lives, their suffering and their faithful service in securing a solid foundation for the growth of the local Church.” He invited the families of these priests and all the faithful to attend the special anniversary Mas