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James Thomson with Msgr William Fay during the laying on of hands during the ordination ceremony (The Southern Cross/Ben Macmahon)

After a journey spanning five years and two continents, former credit analyst James Thomson was ordained to the priesthood at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral in Adelaide on May 27. Source: The Southern Cross.

Family, friends and a large contingent of priests from the Adelaide Archdiocese attended the morning Ordination Mass celebrated by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan. Special guests included Fr Thomson’s formation adviser, Msgr William Fay, who travelled from Pope John XXIII Seminary in Boston, while fellow seminarians watched the joyful ceremony via livestream.

In his homily, Archbishop O’Regan told UK-born Fr Thomson that he should “never forget” that he was ordained on the eve of Pentecost and the feast of St Augustine of Canterbury, “the great missionary to Britain, sent by Pope Gregory the Great”.

Archbishop O’Regan added that many times in his ministry Fr Thomson would be called to be “the advocate, the paraclete”.

“Your ministry of being a paraclete means you will also be a comforter and a strength for others,” he said.

Fr Thomson was 27 when he migrated to Australia with his family and completed his accountancy degree. In 2018, the Hallett Cove parishioner quit his job with a financial institution and entered the seminary for mature-age candidates in Boston.

His journey to becoming a priest was impacted by the pandemic, which forced him to return home and study remotely from Adelaide. Ordained a deacon last September, he spent his pastoral year in parishes, including Mount Gambier.

Speaking to the congregation after his ordination, Fr Thomson, 44, said following his call to vocation was “the easiest decision I’ve ever had to make”.


Ordained to listen (By Libby McNamara, The Southern Cross)