Bishop ordains Andrew Neate to the priesthood
As he ordained a new priest in St John’s Cathedral in Norwich, Bishop Alan Hopes encouraged him to mould his life on the mystery of the Lord’s presence.
In his homily at the September 19 ordination, Bishop Alan said: “Jesus chooses men and sets them apart to share in His priesthood…He says to us very clearly, ‘You did not choose me; I chose you.’ So with you, Andrew. He has called you for His own purposes.”
Bishop Alan emphasised the importance of the people of God in supporting a priestly ministry. “No priest could continue his ministry if it were not for the people of God…which supports a priest through times of discouragement.” And he added: “The whole Church in heaven and on earth is wrapping you in a mantle of prayer.”
He encouraged Fr Neate to “imitate the mystery you celebrate – mould your life on the mystery of the Lord’s presence.”
Andrew Neate has been serving as a Permanent Deacon in the parish of Cromer and Sheringham in Norfolk. He had left his banking career early and was able, when ordained in 1996, to offer a full-time commitment to the Diaconate ministry.
Following a time in parish ministry in Huntingdon, he served for 17 years as a chaplain at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, being attached to Our Lady and the English Martyrs. He will now be serving in the parish of Fakenham.
He was married for 50 years to Margaret and was widowed three years ago. Bishop Alan, after recognising his vocation to the priesthood, asked him to undertake some studies at Allen Hall to prepare for ordination. His late wife’s family are descended from St Thomas More, and as the Seminary is on the site of More’s Chelsea House, it seemed fitting that he should study there.