The end of a seminary year is often a mix of emotions as students and staff are keen to have a break and, in the case of non-Westminster students at Allen Hall, a desire to get back to their home diocese. But whilst there is always this “mix,” there is also an immense joy as the seminary community gathers to celebrate the ordination of the confreres. The end of the 2013/14 year was no different, with the priestly and diaconal ordinations taking place at Westminster Cathedral.
On the 14th June, the Right Reverend John Arnold, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, ordained Cyril Chiaha, David Lucuy and Kevin Athaide as deacons. Rev Cyril and David for the Diocese of Westminster and Rev Kevin for the Diocese of Nottingham. In his homily Bishop John spoke of the importance of being missionaries in a society that had sometimes grown lukewarm in the faith or even deaf to its call. He used the example of St Aidan, often referred to as the apostle of Northumbria. He spoke of the importance of the ordained minister walking with the people he is called to serve.
On the 28th June, His Eminence Cardinal Nichols, ordained three men as priests, Revv Brian O”Mahony, Andrew Jaxa-Chamiec and Derek Hyett. The Cardinal spoke movingly about St John Southworth, whose remains are contained in a glass coffin at Westminster Cathedral. He told the new priests that they had to become willing “instruments in the hands of Jesus Christ.” His Eminence also spoke of the gentle and joyful ministry of a priest, bringing people to a happiness that was deeper than the many illusory and shallow attractions of the world.
Finally, Rev Michael Doyle, a deacon of the Diocese of Cardiff, who spent part of his formation at Allen Hall was ordained to priest at Cardiff Cathedral on the 6th September by the Archbishop of Cardiff, the Most Reverend George Stack. Cardiff Cathedral was full for Fr Michael”s ordination, it was the first ordination for the Diocese of Cardiff in 7 years. At present, Cardiff has 5 seminarians, 3 of whom are studying at Allen Hall.