A PRIEST from Viewpark returned to his home parish to celebrate 40 years since he was ordained.
Father John Downey, of the Verona Fathers Comboni Missionaries, concelebrated Mass at St Columba’s Parish Church, where he was ordained by the late Bishop Francis Thomson in 1972.
The first ever Verona Father of the London Province to go and work in South America, Fr Downey served over 25 years in Brazil.
During his time as a priest, he has also held important posts in Ardrossan, Dublin, London and Sunningdale. He is currently based in Salford and is editor of the Comboni Mission Magazine and Calendar.
In his homely, Comboni Missionaries colleague Fr John Clark, said: “John has a flare for working with people and making the Bible come alive for them. The spiritual vigour that kept and keeps him going is the strength, joy, courage and creativity that comes with the resurrection of the Risen Christ in today’s Gospel.”