A celebration was held at Firth Hall, University of Sheffield, to give thanks for the 27 years of ministry that Fr Peter Cullen has given to the university chaplaincy from 1990 to 2017.
About 150 former members of the chaplaincy from the last 27 years gathered together, travelling from all parts of the country, some from overseas. We all came to give thanks for a chaplaincy and a chaplain who touched our lives so deeply. Many brought their families to join together in the celebrations. Mass was held in Firth Hall with a buffet afterwards. It was fitting that the second reading came from Acts 2:44-47 which was our chaplaincy scripture passage. We prayed together, we shared together, and we broke bread together.
In his sermon Fr Pete said he saw the weekend as a celebration of chaplaincy as a whole and not a celebration of just his own ministry. He thanked all who were involved in the chaplaincy throughout the years and explained how although as chaplain he led, it was really the students who ministered to each other in a spirit of generous giving. Fr Pete called us to look forward to the future and continue in this ministry of service to others. He recalled some of the great times at the chaplaincy and also some of the harder times where his ministry enabled him to help students in times of need. Fr Pete reminded us that although life has its ups and downs, Jesus always walks beside us. We presented Fr Pete with an apostolic blessing from Pope Francis and a commemorative tankard inscribed with our chaplaincy logo and scripture passage.
The weekend was a great time to give thanks and remember our time at the chaplaincy and catch up with friends. Although we are spread around the country, and the world, the bonds of friendship are still strong and the part chaplaincy and Fr Pete’s ministry played in guiding our own vocations and strengthening us in our faith is something to continue to give thanks for.