Monday, 23 August 2010

Fr. Billington's Leaving Do

Sunday 22nd August marked the farewell party for Fr. Steven Billington, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Good Counsel (2006-2010). Fr. Billington leaves Our Lady's to take up a full-time teaching post at the Seminary at Ushaw, Co. Durham.

The parishioners thanked Fr. Billington for his time in the Parish, especially for the spiritual formation he has provided over the last four years.

Fr. Billington receives a vote of thanks and gifts from the parishioners

In a further presentation, Fr. Billington received a hand-painted image of Our Lady of Good Counsel, faithfully reproduced by a young parishioner.

Fr. Billington receives a hand-painted reproduction of the image of Our Lady of Good Counsel

Fr. Billington thanks the parishioners
Fr. Billington’s words were brief but gracious: he will say his farewells to the Parish on Sunday 29th August when he celebrates his final Sunday Mass at Our Lady's. 
The party was greatly enhanced by the hard work of parishioners who had prepared the hall and brought food for the event.

Fr. Billington was ordained a Priest of the Diocese of Leeds in 1999, and came to be the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Good Counsel having first served at Immaculate Heart, Leeds. Fr. Billington lectures in Catholic Philosophy at Ushaw College, the Seminary in Co. Durham, where he will now take up a full-time post.

Fr. Billington will be remembered as an excellent steward of the Parish, ensuring that it is maintained as a place of worship for the generations to come. He has provided spiritual help to young and old alike, and has been especially dedicated to visiting the older people of the Parish to administer the Sacraments to them.

Fr. Billington has also ensured the doctrinal and spiritual formation of his flock and has followed the lead of Pope Benedict XVI by working to ensure that the liturgy in the Parish helps the faithful to experience the holy and a sense of awe before God.

Our Lady of Good Counsel will now welcome Fr. Eugene McGillycuddy, as Parish Priest of the newly amalgamated Parish of Blessed Edmund Sykes.

Our Lady of Good Counsel, painted by a young parishioner

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