Ampleforth Abbey

24 February 2018

Fr Theodore celebrates 70 years of Priesthood

Fr Prior and Fr Columba (Infirmarian) collect Fr Theodore from St Mary's, Leyland. Several friends from the Parish came to say goodbye. He will be greatly missed by the monks and parishioners at Leyland.


Fr Theodore Young, now aged 95, recently returned to the Abbey after many years of service in our parishes. On the 20th July 2017, he celebrated his Platinum Jubilee of Priestly Ordination - seventy years as a priest. We give thanks to God with Fr Theo for his years of priestly ministry.

When he turned ninety, Fr Theodore wrote the following about his early years as a monk:

Going back to the ‘beginning’, I began my monastic career at Ampleforth Abbey, in September 1940, at the age of 19 – straight from School – and was solemnly professed in September 1944; my ordination to the Priesthood came later, on 20 July 1947. My school career was undistinguished – to say the least – which meant I started the studies for the priesthood three or four years earlier than my contemporaries, who were sent to Oxford – later to Fribourg for their studies. After my Ordination, I worked in the School, as School Clerk for the Headmaster. 

Writing in an article marking seventy years as a monk, Fr Theo outlined his work on the parishes as follows:

In May 1951, I was sent on my first Parish, as assistant, to St. Peter's, Seel Street, Liverpool. When the Parish Priest, Fr. Bruno Dawson, heard I was coming, he promptly died... In 1957, I was sent to St. Mary's, Leyland, where I stayed for 26 years, and enjoyed my time there... My next move was to Knaresborough, as Parish Priest, in 1983... In 1998, the Abbot sent me to be an assistant priest back here in Liverpool [St Austin's, Grassendale]...

Fr Theodore later returned to Leyland, before rejoining us at the Abbey to be cared for in the monastery infirmary. In the article just quoted he concluded:

My experience over the last 70 years has been a very happy one – like everyone else, in whatever career they choose, there have been bad days, but the happy ones far exceed the bad ones – largely because of the support of my Abbots, and my Community, and the kindness and concern of so many people I have come across, in the Parishes I have served, not only Catholics, but from people of all denominations, and none. I would like to thank all those who have been involved in my life, during the past 70 years, and assure them that they are all in my daily prayers.