My Life as a New Priest
posted on 10 October 2008
'Know what you are doing, and imitate the mystery you celebrate, model your life on the mystery of Lord's cross'.
It seems a very long time ago now, but I still remember that moment just before my Ordination when Archbishop Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor told me that I would be coming to work here at Westminster Cathedral. My first visit to our Cathedral was back in 2002 when I first came to live in London and I remember immediately feeling that this was a true house of prayer - God's house. So I was delighted when I heard I had been assigned here. However I must admit that until I came to live and work here in the Cathedral I had very little idea what a busy place it is. There are so many things going on from 6.30am to 9.00pm and sometimes beyond that - the Divine Office, Holy Mass, Reconciliation in the Confessional, all the other Sacraments, Catechesis, the daily round of the Liturgy, the singing of God's praises, the preaching of the Gospel, the hospitality offered to many who come to pray here. It is an exhausting place to work! But at the same time it is also exhilarating and exciting, because what goes on here is God's work. And that is what makes it such a privilege to serve in this holy place.
My understanding of my priestly vocation and ministry is to serve the good Lord and love his people in the way he invites me to do. I am learning very quickly that this vocation is not without its challenges, but my first few months as a young priest have been very happy indeed and I believe that this has been a very fruitful time. I feel that my vocation journey, which began at Baptism, was taken to a new level at the moment of Ordination.
As a priest I am a shepherd of the people of God, which is not to say that I am perfect! I feel so glad that the Lord has chosen me, in spite of my weaknesses, and, with his grace, I will do all I can to be a good priest for his people. In just my first few months here at the Cathedral God has called me to exercise my role as a priest to his people in so many different ways - every day brings fresh challenges. I believe that just as the good Lord has called me to live this priestly life in all its fullness so he will continue to show me the way to fulfil his will and exercise the priestly ministry to the end in whatever ways he wishes. Thanks be to God!