Father Gregory Tobin
I was born in Derby City Hospital in September 1958, and Baptised the
following month at St Albans Church, Chaddesden. Having been given the name
of Michael Walshe after my birth father from Claremorris, Co. Mayo, I was
then adopted by Mathew (Roscrea Tipperary) and Doreen (Leeds) Tobin (Nee
O’Neill) through the Catholic Children Society and renamed Gregory Michael
The family home was in Arnold, Nottingham. Together with my sister Deb and brother Mark we attended The Good Shepherd School under the watchful eye of Sister Patricia (Sister of St. Joseph of Peace) then onto Christ the King Comprehensive during the time of Mr. John Bateson.
The Church provided a focus for the family. There was music, altar serving, uniformed groups, youth clubs and discussion groups which included various trips to The Briars Residential Centre where Fr Michael Bell was in charge.
Fr Owen O’Neill was the Assistant Priest during my formative years and he encouraged me to consider a vocation to the Priesthood, having spoken of the fulfilling and happy years he had experienced as a Priest. This got me thinking and in 1977, when I made my formal application to Bishop McGuinness, he sent me to the English College, Valladolid, Spain for 6 years of study and preparation for the Priestly Ministry. This came as a bit of a surprise as languages were not my strong point and the classes were all in Spanish after the first year of introductions to it all.
Nevertheless, I always enjoy a challenge and set about learning Castellano and getting to know the people in the parish of San Isidro with the PP Don Jose. We seminarians helped out with the music and Catechesis for Confirmation.Fr Peter Dooling, a Nottingham Diocesan Priest, was on the staff of the college, and proved to be a great support to me. Sadly, he died in 2011 whilst Parish Priest of Skegness.
During my time in Valladolid my father sadly died in April 1979. My mother then relocated from Arnold to the parish of St. Joseph’s, Leicester, to be closer to her own mother and sisters.
In 1983 I was ordained to the Ministerial Priesthood by Bishop McGuiness at St Joseph’s, Derby. I have since ministered at the Sacred Heart, Carlton (1983), St Joseph’s, Derby (1983-1989), SS Peter and Paul, Lincoln (1989) The Briars Residential Youth Centre (1990-2001), the Holy Spirit, West Bridgford (2001-2011), together with Our Lady of Grace, Cotgrave (2003-2011), and St Margaret Clitheroe, Keyworth (2003-2006), All Saints, Old Glossop and St Mary Crowned, Glossop (2011-2019), and here I am back in Derby, in St Mary’s parish.
My role in the Diocese also involves organising the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes every July.I enjoy playing golf, watching sport, playing music, and going back to Spain whenever I can!
Canon Tim O'Sullivan
Fr Tim was born in 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. before moving at the age of 2 months to County Kerry, Eire. He is the eldest of six children. He studied for the priesthood at Kilkenny College and was ordained on 4 June 1961 for the Diocese of Nottingham.
His first appointment was as Assistant Priest at St Mary’s, Derby under the tutelage of the then Parish Priest, Monsignor Humphrey Wilson. Since then Fr Tim has been Assistant Priest at Holy Souls, Scunthorpe, and at St Mary’s, Worksop. In 1972 he was appointed Parish Priest at Our Lady of Lourdes, Mickleover, Derby, and then in 1976 moved to Holy Trinity Parish, Newark.
He returned to St Mary’s, Derby in 1993 and can often be seen riding his bike around the parish when visiting his parishioners. In 2000 he was made Canon of the Cathedral Chapter. His main interests outside of the parish are golf, the Kerry football team and his extended family – not necessarily in that order.
Fr Paul Smith
I was born in Princess Mary Maternity Hospital in January 1972, in the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne, and yes, I am a Newcastle United fan, and I only watch Match of the Day when Newcastle win, which means I don’t get to watch it very often… I was raised a Catholic and went to St. Peter’s RC Primary School in Gateshead, then onto St. Edmund Campion RC Secondary in Wrekenton. I briefly attended Humberside University but left as I wanted to work and earn some money. I did a variety of jobs, bar work and delivering milk, which was okay as long as I didn’t mix them up! I then started as a temp for a month at an engineering firm in Gateshead and ended up working for them for 20 years. About halfway through my time in engineering, I transferred from the Newcastle site to the one we had in Newark, and I moved home from Gateshead to Lincoln. It was around this time that I started to feel the call to the Priesthood, having returned to practicing my faith a few years earlier after quite a while away from it. I spent the next five years or so discerning the call, mainly at the parish of Our Lady of Lincoln, and then eventually applied for the Nottingham Diocese in 2014. I was accepted and then spent 4 years training at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome. I was ordained Deacon at St. Paul Outside the Walls in 2017, and as Priest at St. Barnabas Cathedral by Bishop Patrick in January 2019.