Canon Colm Acton was ordained in 1958 and is currently 88 years old. He retired from active parish ministry just 5½ years ago.
After training for the Priesthood in St Patrick’s College Co. Carlow, Ireland, I came to London and reported to Archbishop Cyril Cowderoy to serve in the Archdiocese of Southwark. I have served in several parishes across the Archdiocese, including St Augustine’s Tunbridge Wells, St George’s Cathedral, St Justus Paddock Wood and St Anselm’s Pembury, St James the Great in Peckham Rye, and finally I put my roots down in St John Fisher, Merton, in South West London, where I was Parish Priest for nearly 35 years until my retirement in 2016.
I retired to a property provided by the diocese not far from my old parish, so I still feel part of that community. Since retirement I have done a bit of travelling. I went to Rome in 2018 for the 60th anniversary of my ordination and had the great pleasure of meeting the Holy Father Pope Francis, a most memorable event. I went to California to visit my brother Sean, a priest in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, to celebrate his 95th birthday. He passed away in July of this year. I was also able to make several visits to Tuam in County Galway, where I was born and still have family connections, spending some quality time there before the COVID-19 pandemic.
For some time my health has been poor and I am receiving treatment for cancer. This curtails lots of activities and involves many visits to the hospital. But I thank God I am still alive and have an enjoyable life.
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