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Friday, 18 May 2012

The Revd Gabriel Amat celebrates 40 years of priesthood

The Revd Gabriel Amat, (kneeling in the photo above) the priest-in-charge of All Saints Marseille, celebrated 40 years of his ordination as a priest at a celebration on Sunday 6 May. Fr Gabriel was ordained in the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church, a small autonomous Anglican jurisdiction in Spain. He has served in that Church as well as in our Church of England Diocese in Europe, first in Zurich, and now in Marseille. Anna Maria, his wife, was on hand for some prayers of thanksgiving for these years of fruitful ministry.

Two other priests were present: a former priest-in-charge of Marseille, Fr Patrick Cassidy who was my  chaplain for the occasion; and the Revd Riita Granroth. Riita is a priest of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, with whom the Church of England is in communion. She heads up a fascinating project sponsored by the Finnish Church, the Marhaban Diaconal Centre, which offers pastoral care and advice to the immigrant community in Marseille, particularly to North African women, most of whom are from a Muslim tradition. We are looking to explore how closer links can be encouraged between the Marhaban centre and our Anglican parish.

The Revd Riita Granroth
In good French style, a glass of champagne was raised to toast Fr Gabriel after the parish eucharist. Congratulations, Fr Gabriel!

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