Cardinal Vincent ordained seven men to the priesthood at Westminster Cathedral on the Nativity of St John the Baptist, 24th June 2017. Bishop Nicholas and over 100 priests concelebrated the Mass.
The seven men ordained are Rev Julio Albornoz, Rev Michael Jarmulowicz, Rev Michael Maguire, Rev Brian McMahon, Rev Joseph Okoro, Rev Carlos Quito and Rev John Warnaby.
The candidates for ordination were presented by Canon Roger Taylor, Rector of Allen Hall Seminary.
Noting that it was the Nativity of St John the Baptist, Cardinal Nichols began his homily saying, ‘What a wonderful day on which to be ordained a priest!’, noting that like the prophet, these men are called by the Father who ‘has chosen you, from all eternity, to be companions to his Son, sharing in his mission, in the power of the Holy Spirit.’
During the ordination rite, the candidates promise ‘to celebrate the mysteries of Christ, faithfully and religiously… for the glory of God and the sanctification of Christ’s people.’
The Cardinal exhorted them: ‘Remember, please, that in every sacramental celebration, the person at the heart of the action, who occupies centre stage, who commands our attention, must never be the priest. It must always and only be the Lord.’
Referring to the ‘four events of sheer destructiveness’ that have taken place over the past three months in London, he focused on the work and ministry of priests in aftermath of the terrible Grenfell Tower fire, bringing ‘a recognisable presence and special comfort and prayer to so many who were bewildered, bereaved or homeless’. He spoke too of their care in the churches, hospitals and schools ministering to those affected by the fire, and at the base of tower offering ‘comfort and encouragement’ to the fire fighters.
He painted a compelling picture as he related how the priests standing together, with one of our bishops, ‘prayed in the heart of that darkness, the site of so many cruel deaths. They prayed for those who had died and they sprinkled that mangled debris with holy water, the sign of God’s presence and of the promise of eternal life.’
‘This, for me, is a most remarkable image of priesthood, etched in sharp detail against that towering, blackened skeleton,’ he said. ‘This is the work, the ministry, of the priest, a ministry, which you, my brothers, embrace today.
‘This is what accompanying people in a pilgrim church actually means: accompanying them in life’s dark valleys, whether cruelly public or hidden in the privacy of a home and a heart; dark places where God is so easily forgotten yet where God is never forgetful of any one of his precious children.’
In September the newly ordained priests will take up their new ministries. Fr Julio Albornoz and Fr Andrew Bowden are appointed Chaplains at Westminster Cathedral, Fr Michael Jarmulowicz is appointed temporary Priest in Charge at Holy Apostles, Pimlico, Fr Michael Maguire goes to Our Lady of Grace and St Edward, Chiswick as Assistant Priest, Fr Brian McMahon will take up the role of Assistant Priest in Stevenage Parishes, Fr Joseph Okoro is appointed to Holy Rood, Watford as Assistant Priest, Fr Carlos Quito is appointed Assistant Priest to Bishop’s Stortford Parish, and Fr John Warnaby becomes Assistant Priest at St Monica’s, Palmers Green.
Please keep these and all priests in your prayers.
Additional photos are available here.