Fr David O'Malley celebrates 25 years
At Thornleigh College, Bolton, on 25th June 2005, Fr David O'Malley SDB celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his ordination to the Priesthood.
During the Mass he spoke of elements that had led him on in his vocation and convinced him that he was right to 'stick with it': the profound questions about life and death that he had been forced to face at an early age, the support and stability provided by the Catholic Church during his frequent moves around the country, and a profound sense of the presence of God which had overwhelmed him late one evening in the Chapel at Shrigley.
This mystical experience had made him sure that God wanted him to work with the young, especially adolescents in situations of doubt and uncertainty. As a priest he could bring their needs and their gifts to the altar, and share in the work of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Fr David chose readings from the letter to Timothy (don't disregard the young!) and the raising of the little girl in Mark 5 ("The child is not dead but sleeping"). He saw this miracle as an encouragement to optimism when working with young people whose faith was far from obvious.
The design of the cake made for the occasion reflected Fr David's work as an author. 'Trust the Road' is just one of many books he has written for young people and educators, the fruit of his reflections on his work including Youth Retreat Director at Savio House, Province Youth Ministry Delegate, and most recently Chaplain at Thornleigh Salesian College.
The Mass was followed by a buffet. Many members of Fr David's family were present for the celebrations together with members of the Salesian Family and students from the College, two of whom led the music at the Mass and looked after the audiovisual presentations - both with superb professionalism!