Seminarians for the Diocese of Westminster recently gathered at Allen Hall with Cardinal Nichols and Bishop Sherrington to mark the beginning of the new academic year. They were also joined by the Vocations Director, Fr David Reilly, as well as members of staff and other students from the seminary.
Westminster seminarians are currently in formation for the priesthood at Valladolid in Spain, the Beda College in Rome, and at Allen Hall, our diocesan seminary in Chelsea. Some of the students in the Neocatechumenal Way are resident at Redemptoris Mater in central London.
The seminarians met with Cardinal Vincent and Bishop John, and enjoyed social time together. During the meeting itself, the Cardinal invited the seminarians to consider important developments in the life of the Church, especially the diocesan phase of the forthcoming Synod on Communion, Participation and Mission. The students were able to hear reflections from the Cardinal on his own experience of synodality, and about the plans being drawn up for the forthcoming process. Bishop John preached at Mass about the witness of Ss. Cornelius and Cyprian who gave their lives in the service of the Gospel and God’s people, as well as in martyrdom. After Mass, there was a barbecue and get-together in the seminary gardens.
Sean, one of the new seminarians to join Allen Hall, said afterwards, ‘As a new seminarian for the diocese, the gathering of diocesan seminarians with the Cardinal and Bishop John was really my first opportunity to meet all my fellow students together. As well as giving inspiration and enthusiasm to our vocations, Cardinal Vincent was able to share with us some of the challenges and demands facing the Church today: in Westminster, in our country and internationally. Challenges that we, as future priests, will almost certainly face in our respective ministries. It was a great way to start the academic year and, for me personally, to commence my period of formation as a Westminster seminarian’.
The seminarians now return to their respective seminaries as they begin a new year of formation, pastoral work, prayer and study. Please pray for the students and staff of our seminaries as they continue their important journeys of formation and discernment.
If you would like to talk about the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood in the Diocese of Westminster, you can contact the Vocations Promoter, Canon Stuart Wilson by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Fr Mike Maguire on email@example.com