“As I said in the introduction to this Vocations section, we all have a vocation flowing from our baptism!For some men, that vocation may be to the priesthood. As Vocations Director, it is my role to encourage especially this particular calling. After all, the call to the priesthood is a vital one within our Church because a priest is ordained to be a sign and instrument of Christ the Good Shepherd for his people, and to preside at the Eucharist.John Paul II said the following in 1999 about the need for priests:‘There is a need for heralds of the Gospel who are experts in humanity, who have a profound knowledge of the heart of present-day man, participating in his joys and hopes, anguish and sadness, and who are at the same time contemplatives in love with God. For this we need new saints’
Pope Benedict XVI, at the end of the Year of Priesthood, commended priests to serve God and God’s people with holiness and courage, always conforming their lives to the mystery of the Lord’s cross
Clifton Diocese requires heralds of the Gospel – “ordinary men called to do extraordinary things”. Our Diocese needs men to follow that calling of priesthood and to serve our people with holiness and courage.
Could it be you he’s calling!
Currently we have five seminarians in formation for the priesthood.
Stuart comes from Holy Family Parish, Swindon. He already has a degree in history and, prior to coming to seminary, spent a year as Chaplaincy Assistant in the University of Bristol Catholic Chaplaincy. In the past few years, Stuart has also had a separate short placement at St Osmund’s, Salisbury and at St Peter’s, Gloucester. Please keep Stuart in your prayers
“On Saturday 14 December 2019 Thomas Lawes, who is currently in his final year of formation at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, was ordained Deacon at the seminary. In a large Mass of Ordination Bishop Richard Moth ordained six men to the diaconate, including Thomas for Clifton Diocese. Thomas is originally from the Salisbury Catholic parishes and, now ordained as a transitional deacon, will we pray be ordained priest to serve our diocese during the coming year.”
Stephen comes from St Dunstan’s Parish, Keynsham. He has a degree in Politics and Theology from Leeds University. He has experience of working at St Cassian’s Centre, Kintbury and also as Chaplaincy Assistant at the University of Bristol Catholic Chaplaincy. During his formation, he has had placements in the parishes of St Osmund’s, Salisbury and St Bonaventure’s, Bristol. Let us pray for Stephen too!
Joseph comes from St Gregory’s Parish, Cheltenham. He completed a degree in theology from Oxford in 2014. In 2015, Joseph had the opportunity to visit every parish in the diocese as Fr Matt’s support driver on his ‘Ride for Vocations’! Joseph has had two very positive parish placements in St Nicholas of Tolentino and St Joseph’s, Portishead with St Francis, Nailsea. Let’s keep Joseph in our prayers too!
Stephen’s home parish is St Osmund’s, Salisbury. He has a Phd in Molecular Virology. He has two brothers who are priests, one of those being Fr Dominic, parish priest of English Martyrs, Chard and St Joseph’s, Ilminster. Let us pray for Stephen as he begins this journey.