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Fr Peter Pagac was born on 29 June 1973 in Slovakia. From an early age, he served as an altar server at Mass. After completing his studies, he joined the Salesians of Don Bosco, where on 15 August 1993 he made his first profession as a consecrated religious. Subsequently, he began his formation for the priesthood, and studied philosophy at the Comenius University Bratislava and theology at the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome, with its campus-based in Jerusalem, where he completed a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology. Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo ordained him as a deacon on 3 June 2001 in Jerusalem.
Bishop Karol Herbst in Slovakia ordained him to the priesthood on 22 June 2002. After his ordination, he was appointed Assistant Priest at the national shrine of Sastin – Straze in 2002. He then worked in the Salesian formation house in Poprad, as assistant to the novice master. He was appointed Parish Priest at St Jacob’s Parish, Dubnica and Vahom in 2006. After having completed a vocational discernment with a strong desire to work in the missions, he offered himself to the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco to work in any part of the Salesian Mission world. In 2012, Don Pasqual Chavez, the ninth successor of Don Bosco sent him to the GBR Salesian province as part of Project Europe. He was appointed Assistant Priest at Sacred Heart parish in Battersea and later as Parochial Administrator. In 2018 he moved to Chertsey where he worked as Assistant Priest at St Anne’s parish and at the same time as a Hospital Chaplain at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey. At Easter 2021, he was appointed Parish Administrator at The Holy Family parish in Addlestone.
On 1 September 2021 he was appointed Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Battersea West, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Joseph Battersea Park by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Southwark, John Wilson.
Director de Ministerios
I hail from India, Mumbai. Born on August 2, 1972, I am the youngest of four children (two girls, two boys). My grandparents, parents are of Goan origin - Portuguese heritage.
My vocation stems from my Salesian School, Don Bosco Matunga, in Mumbai. After completing my Bachelor's in Philosophy, and studies in Electronics, I opted as a young Salesian to go to the missions. I worked/studied as a missionary in Africa (Mozambique & Kenya) for over a decade. I attained my Bachelor's in Theology from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi. I was ordained a Salesian priest in Maputo, Mozambique, on August 25, 2002.
As a young priest in Mozambique, I was the youth ministry/communications delegate for the Salesian province of MOZ and for the Diocese of Maputo. I was a member of the Provincial Council and Council of Priests for the Diocese of Maputo. These were fantastic years of ministry amongst the young people.
My superiors then sent me for higher studies to Rome, where I attained a master’s in journalism & publications, and a PhD in Communications & Research Management from the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome, and Radboud University, Nijmegen. On completion of my studies, the Vicar of the Rector Major invited me to lecture at the Faculty of Social Communications at our Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. My areas of expertise are in International Communications, research methods for PhD students, specializing in qualitative analysis and project management.
I have a flare to study languages since it has always intrigued me to understand cultures and mindsets. I can speak (or rather) make myself conversable in Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, (basic French), Hindi, Marathi, Konkani, and, obviously, English. My hobbies are cinema, theatre, music, reading, writing, travelling, accompanying-counselling youngsters, and as I am getting matured spiritually, devoting a lot more time to meditation & prayer.
I lived in Italy, Rome for thirteen years before coming to the GBR province, in order to take care of my health and to have an experience of parish pastoral ministry. I am thoroughly enjoying my pastoral ministry at our two parishes, which has truly been a moment of Grace for me to encounter the Lord among the simplicity/kindness of our faithful parishioners, which varies from my academic world. The multi-ethnic-cultural diversity of our Parishioners, and how we pray together as one parish community-family, edifies me every time I celebrate Mass at Sacred Heart. I am truly blessed to be part of the parish. The best part of my ministry at Sacred Heart is visiting the sick, the homebound, confessions and praying before the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration with the parishioners on Thursdays and Fridays. Amongst the sick, in confessions and in adoration, I have found Jesus. Be assured of my prayers and thank you for accepting me into the parish community.
Deacon Michael was born in 1967 in North London and baptised at the Shrine of Our Lady of Wilsden, Wilsden. His family moved to Hammersmith where his brother was born and then in 1971, they moved to Battersea, to a house that stood in Stainforth Road, which is now the site of the Sacred Heart School.
He began his schooling at St. Vincent de Paul School, Altenburg Gardens. In 1972 the school was closing and many of the pupils were transferred to the Sacred Heart Primary School, Trott Street. This was when his connection with the parish began. His celebrated his First Confession and First Holy Communion in the parish in 1974, the same year his sister was born. He then went up to the Junior School and on his final year at Junior School he along with his classmates were confirmed in the Sacred Heart Church by Bishop Charles Henderson on 17th November 1977.
Deacon Michael went onto the Salesian College and completed his secondary education. He then took a year out and helped out as volunteer in the Salesian College with the Special Needs Department.
He was due to go to college, but circumstances changed, and he ended up taking a job with the Archdiocese of Southwark. This was supposed to be for a year or so, but 33 years later he is still there.
After his First Communion Deacon Michael was invited to join the Altar Servers group by the then parish priest, Father Albert Carette. He was enrolled into the Guild of St Stephen at The Friars, Atylesford on 12th May 1979 by Archbishop Michael Bowen. He then was asked to become the Parish Master of Ceremonies and continued in this role until he began his formation for Diaconate.
In addition to his ministry as an Altar Server, Deacon Michael has served the parish as a Catechist, .and as an extra-ordinary minister of Holy Communion. He was also a member of the Parish Council. He was a member of the parish Pioneer group, and also was one of the groups that organised the parish pilgrimages to Lourdes, Rome, the Holy Land, and the Shrines of France.
From 1984 until 2004, Michael was also Master of Ceremonies to Bishop Howard Tripp and accompanied Bishop Howard on his visits to the parishes in his area.
In 2000 he began a journey of discernment for Ordination and in 2003 he was accepted by Archbishop Michael Bowen as a student. He completed his Studies at St John’s Seminary in Wonersh and was Ordained as a permanent Deacon in a ceremony at St. George; s Cathedral, Southwark on 10th June 2006 by Archbishop Kevin McDonald. The next day, 11th June, Trinity Sunday he exercised his ministry as a Deacon in the parish for the First time at a celebration mass, celebrated by Bishop Howard Tripp, which was followed by a celebration in the Salesian College.
Since Ordination Deacon Michael has exercised his ministry in Sacred Heart parish and has been involved in many areas of parish life, celebrating baptisms, marriages and the Funeral Rites of the Church for parishioners and friends. He has also been involved in the First Communion Preparation programme since 2007 and continues as part of the Confirmation Team, supporting the work of the Catechists. He has also been involved with RCIA. He co-ordinates the Marriage preparation Programme in the parish working with three lay people.
He is a chaplain at Sacred Heart Primary School and visits the school and a different class each week. He also is a chaplain at St Mary’s School.
He continues to play a supportive role with those engaged in ministry in the parish, encouraging the Altar Servers and those who wish to take an active part in the Liturgy.
His mother is still part of the parish community and accompanies Deacon Michael to Mass each weekend. He is ever grateful to her for her love and support of his ministry. She is a wonderful example of a woman of faith and appreciates the care that the parish community show to Deacon Michael.
As a member of the parish team, he supports and collaborates with the clergy team in the parish and also with the Salesian Community. Deacon Michael is a Salesian Co-operator, which is the third order of the Salesian Family founded by St John Bosco.
In the Diocese he has served as Diocesan Director for the Lourdes Pilgrimage and as an Advocate on the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal.
In August 2021, Archbishop John Wilson appointed Deacon Michael as Vice Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Southwark.
Deacon Michael is happiest amongst the parishioners of the parish, young and old, - these are the gifts to the community. On his Ordination Thanksgiving Mass, he said “Thank you for all your support, your prayers, and your gifts, but the greatest gift to me, is each and every one of you are what made me who I am, you have prayed with me and for me. For this I will always remain, grateful and forever, Your Deacon.
I have been a parishioner here at the Sacred Heart most of my life. I have always enjoyed being a part of our wonderful Parish Community. Myself and my family have always been very much involved in the Parish. We all attended The Sacred Heart School and celebrated the sacraments here in our church. It is a privilege for me to now work here as Parish Administrator and be a part of the Parish Team. Most of you who know me will know I live locally so I have knowledge of the area and our local community. It is always a pleasure for me to meet and welcome new parishioners and visitors.
Rev Fidelis Chukwu
Deacon serving at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Joseph, Battersea Park.