On 25 January Fr Shaun Richards was ordained a Priest in the Diocese of Westminster by the Most Rev. Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, at Our Lady of Victories Church, Kensington. Fr Shaun has been serving as a deacon for the last six months at St George’s parish in Sudbury, where he will now continue to serve as assistant priest.
In his homily Archbishop Nichols spoke of the ‘very heart’ of the Priesthood as being the call to Missionary Discipleship, filled with the joy of knowing Jesus and wishing to share that joy with others.
Archbishop Vincent also quoted Pope Francis’s own words on the daily life of the priest:
"Moved by Jesus’s example we want to enter fully into the fabric of society, sharing the lives of all, listening to their concerns, helping them materially and spiritually in their needs, rejoicing with those who rejoice, weeping with those who weep; arm in arm with others we are committed to building a new world. But we do so not from a sense of obligation, not as a burdensome duty, but as the result of a personal decision which brings us joy and gives meaning to our lives (Ev G 269).”
Fr Shaun Richards, speaking after the Ordination Mass, said:
‘As a young adult I thought I had everything in life mapped out, until I read somewhere: “Is God calling you to be a Priest?”. At the time I was dismissive about the idea, but even then family and friends could see the priest in me - long before I recognised it myself.’
‘To live out my faith as a Catholic fills me with deep joy and to have the opportunity to fulfil a call to service in the Diocese of Westminster is humbling. I am deeply grateful for the support and encouragement of so many people who have helped me to this joyful moment and I pray that with God’s grace I may be a faithful and fruitful priest in the years to come’.
Over 40 Priests from Westminster and other dioceses concelebrated the Mass, whilst the choir from St George’s Sudbury led the music at the service.