Father Michael Collis
Father Michael Collis was ordinated as a priest in July 2010 at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich. He was the youngest priest in the UK and was featured on BBC Cambridgeshire. After four years working at the Church of All Souls in Peterborough he has now returned to Norwich.
Becoming a Priest
The main reason why Father Michael became a priest was his strong feeling of God’s calling. This was strongly linked with the Eucharist and he can remember the precise point when, as a teenager, the reality of Our Lord’s Real Presence in Holy Communion became apparent to him.
From this moment on he feels he fell in love with the Blessed Sacrament. Over time he began to experience a growing desire to share this gift with others and to help people come to know the truth about what God has done, and continues to do, for us.
Before he was 13 he did not practice his faith. Even though Father Michael’s mother is a Catholic and he was baptised, the family did not go to Mass as they lived in a village with no Catholic church and no ability to get to one on a Sunday. As a result he came to a basic understanding of the faith through his family and had some knowing even at the age of 7 that he wanted to be a priest. However, this dream seemed impossible seeing as they did not even go to Mass.
The Divine Adoption
One of the most important areas of spirituality for Father Michael is the fact of our divine adoption, by this he means the manner through Baptism whereby we actually become children of God.
He says “this changes everything, including the way we view God, knowing he is a loving Father who loves us in a way totally beyond our imagination. It changes the way we view others, the respect and love that they deserve as fellow brothers and sisters. Finally, it changes the way we view ourselves, as people who have a great dignity and nobility, and who find their identity not in what they have or what they do, but ultimately who they are.”
Being a Priest
Father Michael believes that the key to priesthood is to try to allow Christ to live through us more and more so that people are able to meet him for themselves. John the Baptist said of Christ: “He must increase and I must decrease”, and the same should be the motto of the priest.
As Father Michael is someone who shares in the mission of Christ he hopes that his ministry helps people to find liberation. God wants us to have life, and to have it to the full, but we are unable to attain this whilst we are captives to sin, the Evil One, and all those things that distract us from living our lives with true priorities, preventing us from finding the deep and intimate relationship with God without which we cannot be fully alive.
My Bible - My Study
One of the most important passages in the bible for Father Michael is the passage he chose for his ordination card, Psalm 115:1 “Not to us, Lord, not to us, but your name give the glory”. He loves this passage because he thinks it helps us keep the right perspective on things and never get weighed down by trying to seek things for ourselves, but always keeping our vision fixed on God.
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