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On 26th June, Cardinal Vincent ordained four men to the priesthood for the Diocese of Westminster: William Johnstone, Jakub Joszko, Timothy Mangatal and Marco Salvagnini. 

As part of the Rite of Ordination, the four candidates for priesthood were presented by Canon Roger Taylor, Rector of Allen Hall Seminary. The candidates were then elected by the Cardinal and the consent of the congregation.

In his homily, the Cardinal spoke about the choice the candidates had made, and the choice made by God, linking this to the Gospel story of Sarah and Abraham.

‘Of course, this choice, this election, has been fashioned over many years: years of formation at Allen Hall; before that in many years of pondering; and, most originally, in the choice made by God, our loving Father, who from all eternity has wanted to give these four men as close companions of his Son, Jesus, sharing in his mission.

‘Think for a moment about Sarah, in the first reading. In her heart, she reacted with amused incredulity to the notion that she would have a child. Yet the secrets of her heart are wide open to these three mysterious guests who have arrived from nowhere. The ways of God covered her in confusion. So too with us. But this moment is clear.’

The Cardinal also identified ‘two great and lasting focal points in the life of a priest’.

‘The first is his radical focus on Christ. Here is the first and fundamental love of his life. Each morning, before all else, every priest must turn to Jesus, giving him first place, in prayer, in quiet reflection, laying the foundations for his day’s ministry. Each day he asks for the grace of conversion, a fresh love of the Lord.

‘The second focus in the daily life of the priest is very clear: every priest is ordained to fulfil a ministry of service to the people entrusted to him. He is called to accompany them on their journey through life. He does so by his prayers, by offering the Sacraments, by his faithful teaching of the faith, by his constant pastoral care. He does so by fashioning a parish as a well-ordered place, a spring of good water where all may come for refreshment. He does so in obedience to the Lord, present in the Church, not least in the person of the bishop.

‘The work of accompaniment, this second focus of priestly life, is both demanding and fruitful. It is demanding because it asks of us priests qualities that are contrary to aspects of a common way of behaving today. In accompanying his people, the priest will always strive, first of all, to see what is good and positive in their lives. In contrast, today so many look first to see and highlight what is wrong in another’s life.

‘By truly standing alongside the other, the privilege of the priest is to help uncover the next step that person might take on their journey to God, a step towards a way of life that more closely reflects the goodness and faithfulness of God. This is the fruitfulness of our ministry. And it is conducted in the light of the gift of forgiveness.’

On Sunday 27th June, the four newly-ordained priests will celebrate their first Masses and give their first blessings. These first Masses will take place at St John’s Wood, Tottenham, Ladbroke Grove and Parsons Green.

In September, the four priests will take up appointments in parishes in the Diocese of Westminster. Fr William Johnstone will serve as Assistant Priest at Welwyn Garden City parishes, Fr Jakub Joszko will serve as Assistant Priest at St John the Evangelist, Islington and The Blessed Sacrament, Copenhagen Street. Fr Timothy Mangatal will serve as Assistant Priest at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St George, Enfield. Fr Marco Salvagnini will serve as Assistant Priest at Our Lady of Victories, Kensington. Please pray for them as they begin their ministry.

The full text of the Cardinal's homily is available here.

Photos from the ordination Mass are available here.

Pictured with the Cardinal and Bishops John Sherrington and Nicholas Hudson are (L-R) Frs William Johnstone, Tim Mangatal, Marco Salvagnini and Jakub Joszko: Mazur/