New Parish Priest for Horsham Parish Installed
On Sunday 6th March Fr Aaron Spinelli was installed by Bishop Richard Moth as the new Parish Priest of St John the Evangelist, Horsham. In a packed Church with people standing in the porch, in the presence of priests and deacons from the deanery and further afield, during a powerful ceremony Fr Aaron made his profession of faith, and an oath of fidelity to the Bishop and the Church, symbolically took possesion of the presidental chair and was handed over the keys of the parish.
In his homily Bishop Richard said that we should "rejoice that Fr Aaron is with us" and that in making the profession of faith and taking the oath of fidelity this was "a guarantee to the parish that he would preach the faith whole and entire and proclaim in full the teachings of Christ and His Church."
The giving of the keys of the parish to Fr Aaron, Bishop Richard believed was more than a practical necessity, but was also symbolic, indicating that Fr Aaron's "task was to open for you (the people of Horsham) the wonderful word of God and the wonder of the Sacraments." His sitting in the presidential chair briefly, in place of the Bishop during the rite, was a clear symbol that he was to be the representative of the Bishop in the parish.
Finally the Bishop asked the parish to support Fr Aaron not only with prayers, but also by becoming themselves "disciples of Christ" and joining with him in the task of "proclaiming the Gospel - a Gospel of Mercy and Reconciliation."
At the end of the rite of installation there was thunderous applause from the congregation for their newly installed Parish Priest. They also appaulded loudly, earlier in the service for Fr Michael Creech who had, in retirement, held the reins of the parish whilst it was awaiting the appointment of a new Parish Priest.
Fr Aaron in a final few words to the parish at the end of Mass told everybody that his mother had bought him a Hugo Boss watch as a gift on him becoming Parish Priest. She explained that she had got him that particular make as he was now 'the Boss'! Fr Aaron said, however, that this evening's ceremony reminded him that he was not in fact the boss, but was at the service not only of his Bishop and the Pope, but most importantly of God. He then expressed his joy at becoming their Parish Priest and his thanks for all the hard work of everybody in making the celebration possible. Finally his first task as Parish Priest was to offer a token of thanks to Deacon Tom Murray who had just retired as Parish Administrator and hand to him a cheque to enable him and his wife Lynne to make a pilgrimage to the Island of Iona.
At the end of Mass Fr Aaron with Bishop Richard greeted people as they left and then joined them for a further celebration in the Parish Hall.
For more pictures of the Mass and Installation see the Diocesan Flickr site