I am now able to let you know that Archbishop John Wilson has accepted my petition to be ordained as a priest. The ordination is scheduled for St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, on Saturday 15th July at 12.30pm and will be followed by the traditional blessings and a buffet lunch in Amigo Hall.
My first Mass will be at St Paul’s Catholic Church in Dover on Sunday 16th July at 9.15am. Dover is of course where I spent a year as Pastoral Assistant and when I stay when back in the UK as my flat in Welling is now rented out.
The photo above was taken during Archbishop John’s visit to the Beda Seminary in Rome last month. I was deacon when he celebrated Mass and am the one on the left holding the chalice.
I have been busy in Rome these last few months. As deacon I have had the privilege of preaching at San Silvestro in Capite in the city centre at an English Mass. The head of St John the Baptist is kept as a relic in one of the side chapels there: I had to preach there on one Sunday when he was mentioned in the gospel, and it felt rather strange preaching about him when his relics were nearby!
In December we all went to the Roman Parish of St Saba when Cardinal Roach, the former bishop of Leeds, “took possession” of that parish. His job in the Vatican is to oversee liturgy.
I was also in Rome for Pope Benedict’s funeral and that was an unforgettable event: I will also never forget how cold it was as fog swirled around the dome of the basilica. It has been the coldest winter and spring since I have been in Italy. When I went to Naples in February, Vesuvius was capped with snow and so were the mountains near Sorrento. Lemon groves and cold don’t really go together!
I was at the Pope’s Mass on Easter Sunday. In the photo I’m holding the admission ticket that says you are required for the Pope’s liturgy. My colleague who took the photo used to work for Sotheby’s hence the artistic black and white.
Hope to see some of you on 15th July – all are welcome.