BY Peter Diamond | March 15 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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Say a prayer for the men hoping to be ordained as priests in 2019

Increase in expected ordination numbers welcomed by vocations directors

The Pontifical Scots College in Rome is urging Catholics to pray this Lent for the 10 men set to be ordained in 2019—an increase of two from the eight men ordained last year.

The rector of the college for Scottish seminarians has asked Catholics in schools and parishes to pray for the men due to be ordained because one day it could be ‘someone they know coming forward for seminary.’

A total of 10 candidates will be put forward for priesthood in 2019, including the first man from the Isles to be ordained for Argyll and the Isles Diocese in 20 years.

The Scots College has created a Lenten prayer calendar that it hopes will help ‘focus people’s minds’ on candidates for the priesthood.

 

Increased numbers

Fr Dan Fitzpatrick, a priest of Paisley Diocese who has been a staff member at the college since 2012, said: “We all recognise the need to increase the number of vocations to the priesthood and we have a good number being ordained this year.

“Our social communications committee thought that the Lenten calendar would be a great tool to help focus people’s minds and I think it works well praying for different seminarians and persons associated with vocations in Scotland throughout a focused 40-day period.”

Two candidates from the Pontifical Scots College, Rome will be ordained this year, while three will be ordained from Beda College, Rome, three from St Mary’s College, Oscott in Birmingham and one Brother from the Passionist Order in Glasgow.

Fr Fitzpatrick added: “In terms of our own two candidates for priesthood this year, Mark O’Donnell and Charles Coyle, both have been here for seven years.

“As staff it’s been a great delight to see them mature over the years as their Faith and history and knowledge of the Church grows, as they develop more conviction in their vocation, and as their prayer life deepens.

“We have been a part of that history in the college for over 400 years, training young men and sending them back to Scotland as priests, who leave here with a great closeness to the Church and to Christ and the teachings of the Faith.”

Those set to be ordained are:

Glasgow Archdiocese
Br Antony Connelly (St Mungo’s)

St Andrews &
Edinburgh Archdiocese

Patrick Harrigan (Beda College)
William McQuillan (Beda College)

Motherwell Diocese
Mark O’Donnell (Scots College)
Charles Coyle (Scots College)
Kevin Lawrie (Oscott)
Kieran Hamilton (Oscott)

Argyll & the Isles Diocese
Ronald Campbell (Beda College)

Dunkeld Diocese
Jude Mukoro (Oscott)

Aberdeen Diocese
Dominic Nwaigwe (Oscott)

 

Joy for the Isles

Ronald Campbell will be the first man from the Isles to be ordained for the diocese in 20 years. That last priest was Fr John Paul MacKinnon, now vocations director for Argyll and the Isles.

Fr MacKinnon said: “Anything that promotes awareness and prayer especially during Lent is most welcome. It’s lovely if people can offer a prayer or take on an extra prayer for one of our seminarians and all vocations as priests for Scotland are very much needed.

“We’ve had a couple of priests ordained in the last few years and Fr Emmanuel was ordained last year and is helping me in the parish of Barra.

“However the last ordination we had of a priest that was actually from the Islands was myself, and that was 20 years ago so we don’t want to wait another 20.

“I know Ronald’s family—they are a very strong Catholic family, something which is also vital to building our next generation of priests.

Fr MacKinnon added: “Ronald started his vocation as a teacher and those skills will be important. He was a primary school teacher so he already has the ability to create a great rapport with young people.

“We look on the ordination as a great blessing for our diocese and hope that the occasion spurs in the hearts of our young people in the Islands to really think about a vocation, and if that is priesthood or Religious life then fantastic.”

Fr Michael Carrie, vocations director of Dunkeld Diocese, said: “Prayers are vital if we want to flourish and nurture vocations. I appreciated the ones I got from my own parish of St Clement’s Dundee when I was studying, and of those from the Union of Catholic Mothers.

“Seminary is a difficult life with plenty of sacrifice plus it is a long journey to priesthood with academic studies to juggle while trying to maintain and improve your own prayers.

“Our seminarian Jude is originally from Nigeria but has been studying in Oscott, Birmingham for four years now.

“He had already studied philosophy and then theology in Nigeria but then moved to Leuven, Belgium, where he received a doctorate.

“It was during his doctorate that he contacted Bishop [Stephen] Robson about applying to Dunkeld Diocese.

“We already have a few other Nigerian priests in our diocese so there is a natural support network in place to help Jude.”

 

A ‘privilege’

Fr Michael John Galbraith, vocations director of St Andrews & Edinburgh Archdiocese, said: “It has been a real privilege getting to know Deacons Patrick and William over the last four years and being somewhat involved in their process of seminary application and formation.

“To accompany them through that and see them come to arrive at priestly ordination is deeply humbling. I sincerely wish them all the best for the years that lie ahead as it’s a great joy to be a priest, even in these challenging times.

“I think it’s a great thing to pray for our future priests during Lent and, indeed, anytime. To know that people are praying for you to be a faithful, humble and joyful priest in the Lord’s mission is of great comfort and consolation to any aspiring priest.

“We priests live off the prayers and support of the people we serve and we are immensely grateful for it. I would encourage anyone, if they have a spare moment during Lent to pray for our future priests—and that many more follow in their footsteps.”

This story was updated to add the candidacy of Dominic Nwaigwe

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