Today I make my final profession as a Secular Discalced Carmelite. The ceremony takes place in the chapel of the Poor Clare nuns on the Cliftonville Road, Belfast, at 2.30pm. Even though I am a diocesan priest, I am allowed under Canon Law to profess promises/vows in a Third Order, and so become a member of that Order. Many diocesan priests are members of Third Orders and have benefited greatly from it, as I have myself. Apparently we have some prestigious priestly members: St Vincent Pallotti and Pope St Pius X. Ven. Pope John Paul II may have been a member, though no evidence has been found: he was one in spirit if not canonically. I believe Cardinal Francis Arinze was professed a number of years ago; if so, I am in good company.
Today is the end of a long journey (and the beginning of a new one) and a joy for me: finally a son of St Teresa - forever! Please pray for me that I will live up to her teaching, example and love.