Our job, in the Parish of Mary, Mother of God, is to be missionary disciples of Jesus in south Bradford. This is the unfolding story of how Mgr Paul Grogan (Parish Priest), Fr Michael Doody (Assistant Priest) and about 500 Mass-goers seek to bring more people into the barque of Peter (while entirely respecting everybody else outside of it). It is a continuation of an earlier blog which narrated Mgr Grogan's work as a University Chaplain.
Mgr Paul Grogan
Mgr Paul Grogan
Saturday, 10 March 2012
The three men who have applied to begin seminary formation for Leeds Diocese in September were interviewed today at Leeds Trinity. Six interviewers - three laywomen, a layman and two priests - divided into two panels and asked them about friendships, relationships, their families, their education, their prayer-life and their participation in the life of their parishes. "I feel like I need to lie down," one of them said afterwards, and I took that to be a good sign. Now Mgr David Smith, the chairman of the panel, will submit a report on each man to Bishop Roche, to help him with his decision-making. I have accompanied two of the three for a number of years and the third for several months. I was very glad to hear each of them in recent weeks tell me that they wished to be considered. At one stage in the process I told one of them, "I don't mind what you do, I just want you to be happy." "Liar," he said, displaying just that kind of assertiveness that we want in forthright champions of the gospel (though I don't want him to continue denigrating me like this if the bishop accepts him!) I replied, "OK, I want you to be happy and I want you to go to seminary, if you think that God is calling you to the priesthood, and from what you have told me, I think that he quite probably is. It's for you to decide." Making that decision involves going inwards and listening to God; it involves a dying to self; it requires courage, which God gives. Today each man, as it were, reported back from this arduous but beautiful journey into his own soul as he gave an account of himself to representatives of the Church whose members he wishes to serve. It was good especially to see Mgr Michael Kujacz, the former Rector of the English College in Valladolid, today: he is now a parish priest in Salford Diocese and kindly came over the Pennines to give us the benefit of his experience. I am pictured with him below in the garden of the English College a year or so ago.