Fr. John Gildea
I was born in 1937 in South Liverpool, brought up in Whiston, studied at St. Joseph’s Seminary Upholland for the priesthood, and was ordained in 1963.
The parishes I have been in are, St. Agnes’ Huyton, St. Matthews Clubmoor, Liverpool, St. Thomas’ Waterloo, Holy Angel’s Kirkby, St. Mark’s Halewood, St. Charles’ Aigburth, and now SS. Peter and Michael. In every parish I found wonderful people and I’ve enjoyed every minute of my priestly life.
For me, one of the best ways to get to know people and advance their spiritual life is though pilgrimages and travel. From the beginning I have always been involved with the youth; traveling to places like Bulgaria behind the Iron Curtain, Palestine where we stayed with Christian Arabs [and met some nastiness from the Jews] , Croagh Patrick in Ireland and, of course, Lourdes. With adults, I've been fortunate enough to visit – The Holy Land, Rome, Lisieux, Lourdes, Walsingham and Lough Derg.
I have always liked sport. I played football till I was 40, went long distance running, played golf, went skiing, rode a motor cycle until my stroke at the age of 80.
I have been parish priest at SS Peter and Michael since 1999 (23 years) and will celebrate my 60th anniversary in 2023.
I now spend lots of time thanking God for the good life he has given me.
Deacon Jim McGraw
A little bit about myself…
I was born in Glasgow and my family moved to Barrow-In-Furness when I was 10 years old. I met Selena when I was 17 and we were married when I was 20. We left Barrow in 1978 and moved to Salford, where we lived for almost 10 years before moving to Warrington in 1988.
I am proud of many things in my life: I am a proud of all of my family, my wife Selena, our son Ian, and our grandsons Joshua and Callum. I am a proud Scotsman, and supporter of Glasgow Celtic, however, one of the things I am most proud of, is being a Permanent Deacon. I had been a reader at mass and then went onto become a Eucharistic Minister, but it’s difficult to explain how my journey then led me to being ordained. All I can tell you, is that I knew there was something within me that was telling me that I had to explore what may or may not be a genuine calling. By the grace of God, after almost 4 years of discernment, scrutiny and studying, I was ordained in July 2008.
I am very proud to serve as a Deacon in our parish. My duties and responsibilities include: assisting Father at mass and various other services such as those around Easter for example. I conduct Baptisms, Wedding services and Funeral services, as well as Eucharistic services. I am also involved in pastoral work such as the Baptism Preparation programme and I am heavily involved in bereavement support, visiting families at home and helping them to put together the funeral service for their loved ones.
We are all servants of the Lord, and as a Permanent Deacon, I am ‘a servant of the servants of the Lord.’ I am here to serve the Lord, to serve my parish, and to serve you.