Being a keen angler I know of the Ribble Valley’s beauty and its reputation for its fishing! My name is Callum Brown and I’ll be part of your Parish community for the next five months. I’m training to be a priest for Salford Diocese, studying at St Mary’s Seminary, Oscott, the same seminary at which Fr Frankie trained. I hail from the Rossendale Valley, am 26 and in the 5th year of a 7 year course.
The seeds of a possible vocation first began to show themselves during my second year of university where I experienced in a very gentle and gradual way, a sense of dissatisfaction with the direction my life was heading. I had a vibrant social life and was very much involved in the life of the Catholic Chaplaincy. Yet I felt a strong desire to do more for Christ and deepen my faith and commitment to His Church. For the next eighteen months the conviction grew, which I describe as a persistent nagging, almost like toothache, that perhaps my vocation was not to the teaching profession but the priesthood. I took the plunge and contacted Salford’s Vocations Director during my third year of University.
Following a period of discernment and a long application process, Bishop Brain sent me to Valladolid seminary in Spain. Valladolid is a challenging place where each year twenty men live under the same roof for 9 months searching to make sense of what God is asking of them; getting to know themselves and God better. It was a blessed time for me, the experience of living in a passionately Catholic part of Spain and having some breathing space to reflect deeply on the prospect of vocation was a gift.
Academic training then followed at Oscott College, a six year course to equip students with the skills and knowledge required for parish ministry. Towards the end we are appointed to live and work in a parish to get a real taste of the life for which we are training.
So it with great joy that I come to Our Lady of the Valley parish and the opportunity to spend what will hopefully be a grace filled time with you and I ask your prayers and patience as I continue on this journey of discernment and learning towards Priesthood.