Archive for category: Allen Hall
On the 25th June this year, Cardinal Vincent Nichols ordained six of our Allen Hall men to the Priesthood at Westminster Cathedral. We congratulate Frs Chris an de Lisle, Tom Montgomery, Damian Ryan, John Sco , Tony Thomas and Chinedu Udo on their ordina ons. It was a wonderful occasion and a great joy to see many years of prayer, careful discernment, and much hard work, come to frui on for the Diocese.
Likewise on the 11th June four other Allen Hall students were ordained to the Diaconate. Reverends Julio Albornoz, Joseph Okoro and Carlos Quito have now taken up full me pastoral appointments for the next year, and Reverend Michael Maguire a part me appointment on weekends whilst he completes his theological studies. Please keep them in your prayers as they approach priestly ordina on in June 2017.
At the priestly ordina ons this year, Cardinal Vincent reflected on the essen al closeness of the priest to Jesus Christ. He called on the newly ordained, and all of us, to live lives that are marked by unfailing charity, selflessness, gentleness and pa ence – a life where Christ is centre stage and we point to him. This dual closeness and witness to Christ demonstrates that priesthood is necessarily missionary in its character. It is about bringing others to Christ, sharing the good news with them, and helping them along the path of faith.
The great example the Cardinal gave was that of Saint John Southworth, a missionary priest, whose relics rest in Westminster Cathedral. Saint John Southworth’s vision of the priesthood was pragma c, prayer centred and deeply missionary. It is that vision which the Cardinal encouraged all present to ponder and take forward – that we might be a church close to Christ, wise of the world, and outward looking. Please pray for our newly ordained men undertaking their first appointments – and keep praying for more priests.
On Saturday 05 March 2016 at Allen Hall Seminary I and five fellow seminarians received the Ministry of Reader in a liturgy which was celebrated by Bishop Alan Hopes of the Diocese of East Anglia. The Bishop spoke to the six men receiving the ministry prior to the celebration and it did really have a calming influence on me. The chapel was packed with people, including my own family, and the music was exemplary. It was a beautiful liturgy. But it did not seem to strike me as anything special until the moment when it was my turn to kneel in front of Bishop Alan with my Bible. Then it felt like I was officially on the next step in my formation. I did not feel like a new man at the seminary anymore, I did not feel like I was still in the honeymoon period of formation. I felt like I was fully engrossed in the seminary system of formation; and for the first time, it felt absolutely fantastic. The celebrations continued with photographs with family and peers, speeches and drinks in the seminary’s newly refurbished library and a lovely buffet lunch. Having all of my family there was brilliant as they do not visit often from Yorkshire, but the abiding memory will be the real feeling of maturity, growth and prayerfulness which emanated at that very moment when I, for the first time, knelt in front of a Bishop. My family all returned back home. Everything around the seminary was slowly being brought back to some level of equilibrium again after a very hectic couple of days. Sunday rolled around and it was the normal Sunday regime at Allen Hall; Morning Prayer at 08:00, I went to my pastoral placement and returned for a Holy Hour at 19:00, which included Evening and Night Prayer. But it was not just a normal Sunday regime, as I had a new found zeal and energy in my usual daily activities; because this was the first day that I was a Reader in the Church’s eyes. Now, that really did feel good.