Friday, 25 January 2008

Vincent Gardiner (Student 2006-2007)

Vincent was a student of the School of Evangelisation last year and has since gone on to prepare for studies for the Priesthood! It was wonderful to hear from him the other day ... and we look forward to having him visit us here in Soho for a few days next week. In the meantime, we wanted to share with readers of the blog just how Vincent is doing and what some graduates of the School get up to! Read on to find out ...

I'm studying for the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Southwark - a step I would not have taken so soon if I hadn't been at the School of Evangelisation. This year I'm at The Royal English College, Valladolid, Spain, for a propeaodeutic year of human and spiritual formation, with some catechetics and pastoral formation thrown in too. The College is beautiful and comfortable, with an excellent combination of the best parts of Spanish (food and siestas) and English (everything else) cultures. Living with 20 other men discerning the priesthood would perhaps seem quite intense if I hadn't had the year at St Patrick's to prepare me!

I'm spending January in a parish in Liverpool (i.e. somewhere I've never been before), seeing what a parish priest does; visiting hospitals and schools, taking Holy Communion to the housebound, praying with the families of the dead; bringing hope. Next year I will be moving away from Spain, perhaps to a seminary in England. Though there are six and a half years before I might be ordained a priest, I am sure that God is guiding me gently towards whatever He has planned for me, and that I am in the right place at the moment.

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