'It takes many people to make a good priest'

‘What matters is not so much what we achieve as what’s in our heart. Which is why the Lord calls us not simply to be shepherds but to be shepherds after his heart’ were the words of encouragement spoken by Bishop Nicholas Hudson in his homily at the ordination of Fr Kensy Joseph SJ and Fr Philip Harrison SJ at St Ignatius Church, Stamford Hill on Saturday 30th June. Over 50 priests concelebrated the Mass with colleagues from Jesuit Missions and Jesuit Refugee service, where Fr Kensy and Fr Philip served as formation students.

Speaking of the influence of the Jesuits on him, Bishop Nicholas added, ‘Growing up as I did in a Jesuit parish and attending Jesuit schools… I found it a huge enrichment … and felt the call to priesthood deepen in me through witnessing this diversity of ministries among you (Jesuits).’ He reminded the ordinands of the struggles the first year of priesthood would bring, mentioning Cardinal Hume’s advice for the newly ordained, ‘when you feel it’s a struggle, remember your 999: Matthew 9, 9 … and hear the voice of the Good Shepherd who called you to this point of your ordination day.’

At the end of Mass, Fr Kensy expressed his thanks, ‘There was a tremendous sense of the loving support of friends, family and people… for which we are both very grateful’.

Fr Philip commented, ‘It takes many people to make a good priest: people to teach us, people to challenge us, people to listen to us... We pray that you continue to encourage many more young people in the same way.’ Fr Kensy moves on to Glasgow as chaplain at St Aloysius College. Fr Philip moves to Rome to study at the Biblicum.

The complete homily from the Mass can be read, here bit.ly/Jesuitordinationhomily.