There was standing room only when around 950 parishioners, family and guests witnessed Michael Kane’s priestly ordination in a poignant ceremony in St John the Baptist church in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, on Friday, June 25.
Over 40 priests, Michael’s family and friends, along with parishioners, saw Bishop Joseph Devine of Motherwell welcome Fr Michael Kane, 25, into the priesthood.
In an emotional address at the end of the ceremony Fr Kane paid special tribute to his mother and father, Catherine and William, his brother Richard, sister Michelle and grandmother Mary.
The 25-year-old former pupil of Holy Cross also thanked the parish priest Fr Dominic Towey for his friendship and exceptional priestly example, and Mrs O’Neill, his former guidance teacher at Holy Cross for her encouragement on his journey to the priesthood.
The entire ceremony and Fr Michael’s first Mass on Saturday, June 26, was a real community affair, with the parish providing teas and snacks for everyone afterwards. During the choir the choir led by Olive Mackle and with guest singer Laura McCann were excellent. At the end of the Mass Fr Kane was thanked for all he had done in his five and a half years at St John the Baptist and was presented with a set of vestments from the parishioners.
Hundreds of parishioners queued for up to three hours to receive a blessing from the newly ordained priest who is due to join a parish in East Kilbride after helping to lead a pilgrimage to Medjugorje and in August leading a group of young people to World Youth Day in Madrid.
The numbers who turned out over the weekend astonished Fr Kane, who said: “I was amazed at the numbers at my ordination and at my first Mass. It was humbling, yet uplifting to see so many friends and parishioners.
“For me, it was especially pleasing to see so many parishioners, not only from St John’s, but from my childhood parish of St Pauls in Hamilton and from other parishes I had visited. It was just wonderful to see so many taking the time to be with me on this special, spiritual moment in my life.”
Fr Towey, along with his parish pastoral planning committee, organised the event. He said: “Over 2,000 people joined Fr Michael in Masses over the weekend. They came from as far away as Malawi to see Fr Michael offering the rest of his life to God. It was a special ceremony for a very special young man. We are exceptionally proud.”