Entering into an engagement with the Lord

by Matteo Di Giuseppi

I consider becoming a candidate for Holy orders a real gift from God and also a sign of his faithfulness towards me. It is also recognition from mother Church of the genuineness of God’s calling in my life. I have, therefore, the guarantee that both God and the Church will guide me with greater care in this journey towards priesthood.

On my side, I am experiencing the love of God which urges me to love him back by putting all my skills and gifts, those which he entrusted to me, at the service of the Church.  For me, to receive candidacy means to enter into an engagement with the Lord and the Church which is also expressed by wearing the clerical collar, an exterior sign, which is similar to the engagement ring that is exchanged by a man and a woman preparing for marriage. Today, to know that the Lord has accepted me despite all my fragilities is Good News for me. He is the rock on which I am called to build my house, so that I may become a shelter and a help for all people who are in need of a shepherd. This is a time for me to enter into a deeper intimacy with the Lord so that this house which is his temple may become a holy temple, so that this inner reality may be expressed exteriorly, not only by the collar I will be wearing, but also in deeds and words.

Candidacy for me is a privileged way of being a witness to the love of God, by reflecting how I have been loved by Jesus Christ, who gave me his life when I did not have one, when my life had already lost its meaning. It was then that the Lord called me, and offered my life a new and wonderful meaning and direction which I could never have thought of before. He was calling me to serve him and the Church through the priesthood. It is only out of love and gratitude to Christ and the Church, who has always been ready to support me and guide me in the Christian life, that on the 25th May in the presence of Bishop John Sherrington, the formation team of Allen Hall Seminary and Redemptoris Mater House of Formation, my brother seminarians, my family and my Neocatechumenal community and other members of the Church, I was able to say ‘yes’ and indicate my willingness to continue my journey towards priesthood. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to ask all the brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Westminster to pray for me so that the will of God, and not mine, may be fulfilled in me.

Matteo Di Giuseppe is a 4th year seminarian at Allen Hall . He was admitted to candidacy by Bishop John Sherrington on 25th May 2019.