The term “child soldier: combines two words that do not belong together in any parent’s vocabulary, the innocence of childhood ripped away by the bloodshed and violence of combat in a modern African army.
For Father Neville Connell, a former Anglican, joining the priesthood of the Catholic Church was part of a long and winding journey of faith, which culminated in his ordination in August at Mt Lawley Parish, St Paul’s Church. Fr Connell is a member of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, which encompasses people who have not completed the Catholic Sacraments of Initiation who seek to live the full Catholic faith. He said that the celebration of faith had been a strong feature of his life early on. “At the age of around nine, I began to tread the well-tried path of Anglican boys – I became a choir boy, complete with Eton collar, was confirmed at the age of 11, and in due course was an altar server, member and office bearer of parish youth groups,” Fr Connell said. By Caroline Smith and Jamie O’Brien.