I was ordained a priest on the 24th June 1998 by Bishop Raymond Terrasson, an independent bishop consecrated in the Ngô-Dinh-Thuc succession. Fourteen years have elapsed since that day at which clergy and friends were present.
My ordination took place near the Bishop’s home, at an abandoned chapel near the village of Coussac-Bonneval near Limoges. This chapel was built in 1946 in thanksgiving for the village having spared Nazi atrocities in 1944 like the massacre of Oradour-sur-Glâne. It is a simple stone and concrete building, dedicated to Our Lady of Biaugeas. Two Roman Catholic parish priests were present and participated in the ordination: Fr Jacques Pecha (1920-2002) of the parish of Bouloire (Diocese of Le Mans) and Fr Noël Tibur (1918-2010) of the parish of Clermont (Diocese of Dax). Another priest was present, previously ordained by Bishop Terrasson. Fr Pecha, a priest who had a tremendous influence in my life, had the role of Archdeacon and Assistant Priest.
My ordination was conferred using the pre-Vatican II Roman Pontifical. Here are some photos – scanned from prints as I had no digital camera in those days! The comments are under each photo.
Bishop Terrasson accompanied by Fr Pecha, Fr Tibur behind in surplice and pastoral stole
Litany of the Saints, a subdeacon was ordained in the same ceremony.
Close-up of well-worn town shoes!
Imposition of hands by the Bishop.
Imposition of hands by the Archdeacon.
The deacon’s stole becomes a priest’s stole.
Anointing of the hands.
Bound hands (I still have the cloth) and the porrection of the instruments. That is the chalice I use each day for Mass.
A shot outside the chapel after the ceremony. Only one person other than myself in this photo is still alive!