I have just returned from Rome where I participated in a very happy event - the ordination to the diaconate of Phillip Hall, a Leeds Diocesan student at the Pontifical Beda College. Congratulations Phillip! You're going to make a great priest. He is pictured above (in the centre, in a white shirt) flanked by some of his brothers in the diocese (five priests and six seminarians) in the garden of the College following the ordination at the Basilica of St Paul's-outside-the-walls. Bishop Thomas Burns of Menevia ordained Phillip and seventeen of his year at the College - a truly bumper crop!
This is part of the Prayer of Consecration which Bishop Burns said over them:
send forth upon them the Holy Spirit,
that they may be strengthened
by the gift of your sevenfold grace
to carry out faithfully the work of the ministry.
May they excel in every virtue:
in love that is sincere,
in concern for the sick and the poor,
in unassuming authority,
and in holiness of life.
May their conduct exemplify your commandments
and lead your people to imitate their purity of life.
May they remain strong and steadfast in Christ,
giving to the world the witness of a pure conscience."
Phillip, who hales from Batley and who has a Masters in English Literature, is pictured below with his two brothers, a sister-in-law, two nieces and a nephew and with the College Rector, Mgr Roderick Strange. He worked in the banking sector for several years before going to seminary. Whilst at the Beda he has been responsible for both music and sport in the house. In September he will do a month-long placement at St Robert's in Harrogate before returning to Rome to complete his studies. Pray for him!