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How To Trace A Priest?

Discussion in 'Clergy' started by kernowmaid, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. kernowmaid

    kernowmaid Well-Known Member

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    My late aunt often mentioned her "Uncle Tony" who became a Priest (RC) but never clarified exactly where he fitted into the family.

    On the only occasion that I ever spoke to her, my granma's niece (so auntie's cousin) told me that she was christened by her uncle who was a priest (he changed her name around and added Philomena).

    And now I'm looking for my gt-grandad's brother Anthony. (CLARKE, born Ballina, Ireland, 27 March 1864.)

    Could this be the same person? (I called my great aunt "Auntie", so maybe I shouldn't be deterred by the generation gap)

    How does one go about tracking down a priest? Do they change their names, or would he have been "Father Tony"?

    Or do I need to "scrape my kettle" as Aunty Betty would have said? Pray for guidance? :rolleyes:

    Jane
     
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  2. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Have a look at this TNA Research Guide and see if that can start you in the right direction. :)
     
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  3. Half Hour

    Half Hour Well-Known Member

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    According to Answers . com priests rarely change their names. Nuns do so to show their dedication to God.
    That's all I can help. maybe a Catholic member will tell you more. ;)
     
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  4. Philippa

    Philippa Always a lady.

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    Before I became a lapsed Catholic (as they say) our priests were always called "Father *surname*" but recently it seems they are called "Father*given name*". I first encountered this quite a few years ago when my mother died, and it seems to be common here in Canberra right now.

    My thoughts can only be based on what I knew in the days before the Church underwent "reform" and dumbed itself down out of all recognition. Goodness knows if they are still relevant.

    If any of the status quo remains, tracking them could be tricky because there are/were different "orders" of priests - Dominican, Franciscan, Carmelite to name a few - as well as the ordinary Parish Priest.

    I have never been in a situation of trying to track down a priest but would imagine that the head office of each order would carry records as would the relevant diocesan office for parish priests. For example priests in my home town in Queensland were of the "ordinary parish priest" variety. If I were looking for priests there and the records weren't available locally I'd approach the Toowoomba diocesan office (where the Bishop is in residence) or alternatively the Brisbane office (home of the Archbishop).

    Probably haven't helped much at all but do wish you luck, Jane. If you do succeed, can you let us know how?
     
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  5. CaroleF

    CaroleF Well-Known Member

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    I think the matter of name change will depend on whether he was also a member of a religious order. Certainly Benedictine monks change their names when they enter the order and use that 'new' name when/if they also become priests but keep their family name. In the Benedictine community that I know the monks are always called Father (or Dom) 'new' name and as far as I know that has long been the case.

    Not sure whether that really helps!
     
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