Belfast Telegraph

Convert priest celebrates first Mass

By Christopher Woodhouse

A man baptised into the Church of Ireland has celebrated his first Mass - as a Catholic priest.

Andrew Black (27) was ordained into the Roman Catholic priesthood in front of a 500-strong congregation at St Comcille's Church in Holywood, Co Down, on Sunday.

Now Fr Andrew, he celebrated his first Mass as an ordained priest at St Comcille's Church yesterday evening.

Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor led the ordination service on Sunday which was also attended by North Down Independent Westminster candidate, Lady Hermon.

The Co Down man said he began to discover his faith at the age of 14 and converted to Catholicism two years later, describing the process as a "journey".

Although his family are not Catholic they are fully supportive of him becoming a priest.

Andrew studied history and philosophy at Queen's University Belfast before joining St Malachy's Diocesan Seminary in 2007.

Following two years at the seminary he moved to Rome to finish his studies at the Pontifical Irish College.

He then returned to Northern Ireland in 2012 where he worked in St John's parish on the Falls Road in west Belfast, becoming a deacon a year later.

Andrew also worked at the Holy Family parish in north Belfast for a year and then became a chaplain at the City Hospital in Belfast and later St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin.

He is just the second man this year to enter the priesthood in the Diocese of Down and Connor.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph