by Fr Paul Graham OSA
On 5th May 2018, in the newly refurbished Church of St Augustine's, Hammersmith, Bishop Michael Campbell OSA, Emeritus Bishop of Lancaster, ordained to the priesthood Arthur Bolivar OSA and Gladson Dabre OSA, in a two-hour ceremony that was characterised by outstanding music and a powerful sense of congregational participation. They were the first Augustinians to be ordained in Britain since 2005.
The following day, Fr Arthur said his first Mass in the chapel of Charing Cross Hospital, where he had worked as a nurse and where he first felt a calling to the priesthood with the Augustinians nearby. The little chapel was packed with former colleagues and friends, many of them fellow Filipinos.
The first Mass for Fr Gladson was 12.15pm Sunday Mass at
St Augustine’s Church, and among the concelebrants were his three uncles who had travelled from India to be present.
After visiting their families in the Philippines and India, who had been unable to obtain visas for the ordination, they will both return to their respective communities in Birmingham and London to begin their pastoral work as priests. Fr Arthur will be working in St Mary's Parish, Harborne; and Fr Gladson will continue his work as Vocations Director for the Augustinians in Britain. Beginning in September, he will be overseeing a vocation discernment community for men in Hammersmith.