The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

Celebration of Priesthood 2024

Thursday 23 May, the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, The Eternal High Priest, was the occasion for the annual Celebration of Priesthood at Leeds Cathedral.

Bishop Marcus led the Mass which celebrated the ministry of all our diocesan clergy and especially those priests who are celebrating a jubilee of ordination during 2024.

The Bishop was joined by a large number of concelebrating clergy, with the jubilarians gathered with him on the sanctuary. Unfortunately Canon John Galvin, who celebrates his Golden Jubilee on 15 June was not well enough to attend. The other priests who were ordained in 1974 are Fr Colum Kelly and Canon Eugene McGillycuddy. For many years Fr Kelly was the port chaplain at Immingham, working with the seafarer charity Stella Maris. Canon McGillycuddy retires later this year from St Patrick’s parish in Leeds. Fr Colum’s jubilee was on 27 April, and Canon Eugene will celebrate his on 2 June.

They were joined by two priests marking their Silver Jubilees: Fr Eamonn Hegarty, Parish Priest of St Mary, Batley & St Patrick, Birstall, who was ordained on 10 July 1999. and Fr Steven Billington, Parish Priest of SS Peter & Paul, Sandal, whose jubilee is on 24 July.

A feature of the Mass was the beautiful singing of the choir from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The choir are currently visiting Leeds to observe the work of the Schools Singing Programme, based at the Cathedral.

To all our 2024 Jubilarians – Ad Multos Annos!

The picture below features (L-R) Fr Eamonn, Fr Steven, Canon Eugene and Fr Colum. All the photos from the Mass can be found at