On the 28 June 2014 Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, ordained three men to the Priesthood in a Mass at Westminster Cathedral. The ordination took place on the Feast of St John Southworth.
The three newly-ordained Priests, Andrew Chamiec, Derek Hyett and Brian O’Mahony, will serve as Assistant Priests at the parishes in Chiswick, Hemel Hempstead and Westminster Cathedral respectively.
In his homily Cardinal Vincent reflected on the ministry and martyrdom of St John Southworth, asking what lessons could be learnt from his example:
“These relics of St John Southworth are a powerful symbol. Look at them afresh. They speak to us of continuity of faith and priesthood; of unshakable belief in Christ’s victory over death; of the final resurrection of our mortal bodies; of the powerful witness given by faithful priestly ministry.
Very soon, Andrew, Derek and Brian, you will prostrate yourselves alongside the body of our saint. This will be a lasting inspiration for you, as you give your lives completely over to the Lord. Your radical openness of heart, explored and prepared with great care and much appreciated assistance in your years of formation, can now be filled with this unique gift of the Holy Spirit, by which you become willing instruments in the hands of Jesus himself.”
Cardinal Vincent also stressed radical witness to God’s love that the three men being ordained would undertake through their words and actions as priests and the implications it would have on them and wider society:
“As this happens, day by day, we come to see life anew. Only slowly do we see with the eyes of St. Paul. He challenges us to see true strength in weakness and suffering; that the popular image of the strong, lone ranger masks profound insecurity.
The steady, patient ministry of a priest, on which, to our joy, you embark today, is the slow shifting of these false imaginings: about strength, about purity, about the sources of joy and about lasting wealth. As priests we must take such care never to reinforce these false images that do not give life.”
Fr Roger Taylor, Rector of Allen Hall, the Diocesean Seminary, said:
“For the seminary community at Allen Hall, and for the Diocese as a whole, this weekend’s ordinations to the priesthood are a source of joy and hope. My prayer for each of our new priests is for a blessed and fruitful ministry in the parishes they will be called to serve. I am deeply conscious of the generosity which lies at the heart of each priest’s offering of himself to the service of the Church and the people of God. My hope is that others will have the generosity of heart to explore whether this same service is God’s will for them. ”