Bishop Michael Smith ordains Father James Crofton for the Diocese of Meath

30 Sep 2007


30th September 2007

Bishop Michael Smith ordains Father James Crofton for the Diocese of Meath

The newest priest to join the Meath diocesan clergy is Father James Crofton. A native of Dunboyne, the 37 year old priest is a son of John and Ann Crofton. He was ordained by Bishop Smith at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar last Sunday (30 September).

Before entering the seminary, Fr Crofton led a life of varied work experience but chose to heed the call to priesthood in the Diocese of Meath. He studied for several years at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth and the Pontifical Irish College, Rome. Speaking of his own vocation, Fr Crofton explains that “a priest first of all witnesses in the world to his own relationship to Jesus Christ as a person. It is my wish to make Jesus Christ known and loved among the people where I will serve.”

Welcoming the ordination of Fr Crofton and paying tribute to his generosity, Bishop Smith reminded the congregation that “vocations come from the prayer of the believing and worshipping community. Christ’s instruction was very simple: ‘pray the Lord to send labourers to the harvest’. Each priest brings his own strengths and talents to the Lord’s work. Answering that call demands generosity, commitment and perseverance but the prayers of the community can sustain the priest in his vocation and ministry.”

At the beginning of the ordination ceremony, the recently appointed Parish Priest of Dunboyne, Mgr Dermot Farrell, presented Fr Crofton to the Bishop as a candidate for ordination. Speaking after the ceremony, Mgr Farrell welcomed the new priest’s ordinations and hoped that more people would respond to the call from the Lord. “There is a great need for more priests to serve in the Diocese of Meath” he said “particularly with the population of this region rapidly expanding. Our communities can only benefit from the presence of priests who will help people reflect on their spiritual lives, walk with them in times of joy and sadness, and especially to celebrate the Sunday Mass and sacraments.”

Among the principal celebrants were Fr Joseph Gallagher, Cathedral Administrator and Fr Gerry Stuart, Parish Priest of Ratoath where Fr Crofton spent some time as a deacon on pastoral placement during the summer.

The new priest celebrated his First Mass in the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Dunboyne on Monday evening at 7.30pm.

This is the second ordination for the Diocese of Meath in 2007. Fr Tony Gonoude was ordained in July in the Church of the Assumption, Tullamore. He has since been appointed Curate in Holy Family Parish, Drogheda. There are currently six students for the Diocese of Meath in seminary formation – two in Maynooth, three in Rome and one in Paris. Two new students entered the seminary for Meath Diocese in 2007. The Vocations Director, Fr Martin Mulvaney, finds encouragement in the generosity all the students in their willingness to think of priesthood as their future way of life. “All of our students come from a variety of backgrounds and experience” Fr Mulvaney points out “and this shows us that the Lord is still calling young people in many different situations. I am available to meet anyone who may be thinking about their vocation at any time and my number is 046 9021731.”

Further information:

Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Kathy Tynan Communications Officer (086 817 5674)