Our Priests


Fr. Josephat Ezeanolue CSSp


Parish Priest


Fr Josephat hails from Akwaeze, Anambra State Nigeria. After schooling he joined the Spiritans and took his Vows in September 1978. On completion of his priestly studies in Philosophy and Theology he was Ordained on August 17th 1988 and  appointed to the staff of the junior Seminary in Ihiala where he taught chemistry and  also became the Rector / Headmaster. 


Next he became Manager of the Spiritan Farms in Isieke Okija, and then head teacher of St Peter's College in Toto, Nassarawa State, Nigeria. This was followed by a period as Army Chaplain in 302 Field Artillery Regiment, Onitsha and then Assistant Provincial Superior of the Spiritans, Nigerian Province.


In 2010 he was transferred to the British Province and worked in "Just Youth", our youth and schools programme based in Salford until January 2015 when he joined our Charlton Community. He will assist with Pastoral ministry in the parish and Spiritan Mission Appeals.


From January 1st 2016 he is appointed as Priest in Charge of Our Lady of Grace, Charlton.


On 1st May 2016 he was appointed Parish Priest of Our Lady of Grace, Charlton by Archbishop Peter Smith.





Fr Paul Kwame Antwi-Boasiako CSSp


Fr Paul, (aka Wofa Kwame), was born in Obuasi-Akrofuom in Ghana on 17th December 1955. He completed his Primary School education in 1972 and had two years’ mechanic apprenticeship before entering secondary school in 1978. He did his Novitiate in The Gambia at the end of which he did his First Religious Profession on 8th September 1986.

Thereafter Paul studied Philosophy and Theology in Spiritan School of Philosophy Isienu Nsukka, Nigeria and Spiritan International School of Theology (SIST) Enugu, Nigeria respectively. On 23rd July 1994 he was then ordained to the Sacred Priesthood.

Since his priestly ordination he has worked in The Gambia where he worked for four years in the parish and one year as Director of the Diocesan Junior Seminary. Then in Ghana as Parish Priest for four years and one year as Assistant Novice Master before proceeding to Dublin, Ireland for a  formation course. He then served as the Novice Master in Ghana for five years until 2009 when the novitiate was suppressed.
He was then appointed the director of the Pastoral Centre of Obuasi Diocese in Ghana for three years before proceeding to the United Kingdom in December 2012 for a Pastoral Sabbatical. Here in the United Kingdom he ministered as Assistant Priest for one year in the parish of Mary Immaculate and St. Peter New Barnet; and three years in St Bartholomew’s Parish, Norbury till 1st January 2017 when he was appointed to Our Lady of Grace, Charlton as Assistant Priest.





Fr. Terry DONNELLY CSSp


Fr. Terry, hails from Barrhead, south west of Glasgow in Scotland. Born on 20th October 1946, he studied at the Missionary Institute London, and after 2 years as a student in Sierra Leone, West Africa, returned to the UK to be ordained on 21st June 1975. He returned to Sierra Leone, and remained there until 1994, except for three years from 1979- 83 when he served on school and Vocation ministry in England


In 1996, after a year's sabbatical study break, he was unable to return to Sierra Leone due to the Civil war raging there, and was appointed to work in the UK on Mission Appeals in parishes throughout England and Wales. He then spent several years working in Peckham, South London, with Kairos Community Trust, the Spiritan's programme helping drug and alcohol abusers on the road to recovery.


 From 2003-2006 & 2010-2013 he was superior of the Spiritan retirement home in Bickley, near Bromley. He joined the Spiritan community in Charlton in April 2013 and helps out in the parish and other parishes when the priest is away. Recently he was elected as President of the Catholic Missionary Union (CMU) of the Missionary Congregations in England & Wales and has also been appointed to the Bishops Conference Committee on Mission, led by Bishop Pat Lynch, and the Campaign Advisory Board of CAFOD


In September 2015 Fr. Terry was appointed to the Provincial Council of the Spiritans UK with special responsibilities for the works in Scotland, Justice & Peace, and REVIVE our programme for assisting Asylum seekers and Refugees in Manchester.

Also, in October 2015, he was elected President of the Catholic Missionary Union (CMU) for 2 years. This is the body for all the Missionary Congregations in England and Wales





SPIRITAN FOUNDERS


Claude-François Poullart des Places, 1679-1709
Francis Mary Paul Libermann, 1802-1852

Claude-François Poullart des Places, the founder of the Holy Ghost Fathers, was born  in 1679 into a well-off aristocratic family at Rennes in Brittany and was given a good religious and secular education by the Jesuits. At the age of 20, having graduated with honours in Law and with a good marriage lined up by his family, He felt called to the priesthood and left all this security behind to follow the uncertain search for God. 

He began his studies in the College of Louis le Grand in the Latin Quarter of Paris. He had no shortage of funds, but soon discovered that some students were living in crushing poverty, and decided to help one of them. One thing led to another: he left his comfortable lodgings to live with ten destitute scholars, sharing their extreme poverty, and begging on their behalf for leftovers from the kitchen of his old college. 

Aged 23, he founded the Community of the Holy Spirit to give these penniless future priests a training that was better and longer than their contemporaries. In return he asked that they would commit themselves to accepting the most difficult tasks where others refused to go. They referred to themselves as Spiritans, the name we still proudly carry today.

At the age of 29, his identification with the poor reached its completion. During the exceptionally hard winter  of 1709, he gave everything he had to the others and succumbed to the epidemic that hit Paris and was buried in a pauper's grave. In serving the poor, he became the poorest of all, giving himself totally, not just for humanitarian reasons but above all, in imitation of Jesus. Shortly after his death, his small congregation was given the task of training and supplying priests for the French colonies in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean, and so a commitment to overseas Missions began.

In 1848, a new missionary Congregation founded by Francis Libermann, a convert Jew from Saverne, was united with the foundation of Poullart des Places to form The Congregation of the Holy Ghost and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. While continuing with the training of priests for overseas, this new Religious family concentrated on sharing the message of Jesus with those who had not yet heard it, above all, the people of Africa. 

Libermann encouraged his followers “Do not preach about God's Love, but show it by how we live. Listen to their needs and dreams, and help them achieve them.” This finds us working in education, farming, development, technical training and social work, helping communities and society to become self sufficient and self respecting. Today we number around 3,000 members, half of whom are from Africa and elsewhere in the southern hemisphere, working in 65 countries around the world.

We continue to be asked to go “where others will not go, and do the work that others do not want.” We continue to live and work according to the vision of Des Place and Libermann. We thank God for the countless blessings he has given to our family over the last 312 years. We will continue to go where others will not go and help the disadvantaged  and victims of the world to find self respect and self sufficiency. 

Today in the UK we number 49 with communities in London, Manchester, Salford, Chester & Carfin, Scotland. We serve parishes in London (Archway; Charlton; New Barnet & South Norwood), Leicester, West Midlands (Smethwick & West Bromwich), Bakewell /Hassop in Derbyshire, Manchester and the Isle of Man. We also work with schools and Youth through "JustYouth" and "CRISP", and Refugees & Asylum seekers through our organisation "REVIVE", in the Manchester region. In London the "Kairos Community Trust", set up by Spiritan Fr. John Kitchen, cares for those with Drug & Alcohol addiction. 

British Spiritans currently work also in Ghana, Nigeria, Angola, South Africa, Australia, and the USA. Worldwide, over 3000 Spiritans work in over 60 countries on every continent.