Ordination of Rev Joseph Kendall

671430086_Joekendall01.jpg 723876670_Joekendall02.jpg 2103096734_Joekendall03.jpg St Edmund of Canterbury church, Waterloo was the venue for the ordination to the priesthood of Rev Joseph Kendall  by Archbishop Patrick Kelly on the evening of Friday 13 July.

Joseph was born and grew up in Waterloo and when to St Edmund’s and St Thomas’ Primary School and Sacred Heart Catholic College.  Between university and going to do the propaedeutic year in Vallodolid he worked at Jospice and Nazareth House.   After the year in Spain he studied for five years at Ushaw College in Durham before spending his final year at Oscott in Birmingham.   In the course of his formation he undertook placements in Skelmersdale, St Helens, HMP Liverpool and Warrington.  He says: ' I’m looking forward to returning to the diocese to serve the people of God in Word and Sacrament.   I hope that we can all engage with the task of the New Evangelisation and make Christ the centre of all that we do'.

Introduction to Mass and Homily preached by the Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool, at the Ordination to the Priesthood of Rev Joseph Kendall. Friday 13 July 2012 at 6.00 pm in the church of St Edmund of Canterbury, Waterloo.

Introduction to Mass:

‘Give the wise person the opportunity and they will grow in wisdom.’   Those words from the book of Proverbs are inscribed above the long disused fireplace in the refectory at St Mary’s College, Oscott, where Joe completed his formation in continuity with his days at Oxford and Ushaw.  Today in our attentive and prayerful presence he will promise to preach the word worthily and wisely.  The prophet Hosea will set before us the path for the wise: Saint Peter insists we accept full responsibility for using every grace, especially to speak worthily and wisely such words that they come from God. He will know the renewing accomplished by the Spirit and holiness, the Spirit of the Father who would speak in him.


At first I am seething inside but in the end just sad, when someone says after something I have said, or a celebration I have had ‘Of course you have a real gift’.  I feel like screaming: I wish I hadn’t got it because it demanded hours of detailed preparation: painstaking editing: and for me an original script in long hand.

I recall a celebration for people with disabilities at Oscott when a student happened to pick up my notes after a dialogue style homily and was surprised to find not only my text but the replies I was certain, because of the carefully framed questions, I would get so leading us into the wonder of God’s word proclaimed.

The more something is a gift from God, the artist, the creator, the wonderful, the more it engages our artistry our creativity and wonder.   And at this time we rejoice as two blessings come together: so many willing to be involved in enabling parents to be not only the first but the best of teachers of the wonder who is Our Lord, but all this supported by beautifully crafted resources: serious formation: and in a word, Oscotians please remember, of the late, great Frank Gerard Thomas, renewed appropriation of contemplative prayer by more and more. And our Carmels show us yes, the discipline, the rules, the priorities that embrace prayer such as the Holy Spirit bestows.

Joe, you are to be ordained into this maelstrom of renewal: and I still think, but I suggest Martin would take Peter Heneghan’s side not mine: we should now be calling leaving Safe Harbours, All at Sea.

Ordained to preach the word worthily and wisely: to speak in words that seem to come from God.  From God: not our own narrow agenda: but, using one step that so often forces me to wrestle with the word, today the readings proclaimed at every Mass this day.   And so an unexpected gift of blossoming lilies, of the rugged beauty of the olive: fragrance of Lebanon: but above all for you: a charter for the wise man, the intelligent man.  Called to surrender yourself to the daily renewing, the daily conversion accomplished by the Spirit of holiness.   To be ever more attentive to every detail: ever more intelligent, helping all to see what is wholesome, and to name what is absurd: to cultivate sound judgment as our diocese forges ahead at the service of others: to encourage responsible actions so devoid of self and bias that in everything God may receive the glory, through Jesus Christ, since to him alone belongs all glory and power for ever and ever Amen.

Or as a wise man, such as John Lingard would teach us to sing: ‘and to him who reigns above, in Godhead One, in Persons, Three, the source of life, of grace, of love, homage we pay on bended knee.’

Reflecting on his ordination day Father Joe says:

'The ordination day was truly memorable, and not just because it was one of the wettest days we’ve had in one of the wettest summers we’ve had for some time.  What has been thrilling for me, though, has been the number of people who have seen me since to tell me how much they enjoyed the weekend of celebrations, or whatever part of it they could make, and how spiritually uplifting and nourishing they found it all, especially the ordination on Friday night.  More people should see ordinations.
'I presided at Mass for the first time on Saturday, and then on Sunday went to our neighbouring of church of Saint Thomas of Canterbury for a similar celebration, followed by Mass in the afternoon with the children of our parish.  It has been wonderful that they could all play such an important part in the celebrations.   I have been delighted to return this week both to my former primary school of Saint Edmund’s and Saint Thomas’ who organised a special assembly for me, and to my secondary school, Sacred Heart Catholic College, who invited me to celebrate the end of year Mass with the staff.  All these wonderful experiences have set me up for a great week in Lourdes, and then a bit of time to draw breath in August.