Looking forward in hope and anticipation

by Tim Mangatal

Becoming a candidate for Holy Orders has sharpened my focus on Christ and has granted me both encouragement and reassurance that I am where God wants me to be.

I have certainly matured both spiritually and humanly since I started my formation to be a priest in 2014. My admission to Candidacy on 25th May (also my birthday) brings much joy and excitement as the reality of being ordained draws ever closer.

My relationship with the Lord has become more intimate over the last five years. It is something that requires patience, fidelity and perseverance, values and virtues that can often be difficult to attain in a world which promotes instant gratification, infidelity and the culture of constant change.

Faith in God needs to be nurtured in order for it to grow and flourish. This I truly believe can only happen by prayer and the sacraments, in particular the Mass and a readiness to admit one’s own shortcomings and seek forgiveness and absolution, available by God’s infinite mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. At the heart of this sacrament is humility, a virtue in which Christ clothed himself and I, for my part, am trying to do.

I have much to learn, not least academically but also humanly, spiritually and pastorally. My varied pastoral placements over the last few years have proven to be vital to my training as a future priest and I am very thankful to have been given such formative opportunities.

The lay faithful, who, God willing I will serve one day, deserve the very best of their priests. Many look to them as men called by God and the dignity of this vocation and office must be upheld at all times.

Although there are challenging moments along the way in formation, it is the best decision I have ever made and can sincerely say that I have no regrets and now look forward in hope and anticipation to being ordained for the Diocese of Westminster.

Tim Mangatal is a 4th year seminarian at Allen Hall. He was admitted to candidacy by Bishop John Sherrington on 25thMay 2019.