Deacon, Year 7
Venerable English College, Rome
Hello! I am a deacon in my seventh and final year of formation at the Venerable English College in Rome for the Archdiocese. I grew up and still live (when not in Rome) in Kidlington, near Oxford.
The thought of becoming a priest never crossed my mind until I went to university, when I started going to Mass regularly and seriously asking myself why I was a Catholic, perhaps for the first time. Thanks to the influence of C. S. Lewis and St Josemaria, some amazing Catholic friends and a vibrant Catholic Chaplaincy, my faith and prayer life started to grow. After a couple of years at university, I felt a fairly strong call to the priesthood, but didn’t have the courage to face it. I started another degree at Birmingham University in Medicine hoping the call might disappear, only to find another great Chaplain and more amazing Catholics! Finally, at 25 years of age, I made ‘the leap’ and entered seminary, and haven’t looked back since.
Seminary has been challenging at times – one slowly starts to understand oneself better, including all the ugly bits – but it has been a beautiful opportunity for growth and friendship. I used to think that by becoming a priest, I might be doing God a favour: how completely wrong I was.