“To live is to change. And to be perfect is to have changed often.” Famous words of John Henry Newman. They reflect one of the great demands of the Gospel, which is Christ’s call to each one of us to change. It is not always welcome, it’s not always comfortable, it’s not always easy, but like it or not, if we refuse to change we will die. That goes for us as individuals, and for us as a Christian community. (This is reason for the recent parish meeting!) To live is to change. To be perfect is to have changed often.
Those called to the consecrated life (priests and sisters in religious orders) or to the diocesan priesthood live this out in a special way: a divine intervention takes their lives in unimagined directions. In turn, their changed lives influence others and help many people make the changes necessary to growing in faith, in relationships and in responsibility. The apostles are the most startling example of divinely disrupted lives. ‘Follow me,’ said Jesus, and they left their fishing nets so that untold numbers of people might hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Today we pray especially that those God is calling may allow this divine intervention into their lives so that they might become the disciples Christ intends them to be as priests or religious.
This year in Salford Diocese, we look forward to the ordination to the Priesthood of Rev Michael Deas and Rev Richard Howard who are completing their studies at the Venerable English College, Rome. We also have two ordinations to the diaconate: Mark Paver (whom you will remember was on placement with us) also from the English College in Rome and Gavin Landers from Oscott College, Birmingham. Please hold them in your prayers as well as our other students who are continuing their journey in formation: Damien Louden, at the Beda, Rome; Callum Brown (who was also on placement here) and Bob Hayes at Oscott College, as well as Luke Bradbury at the English College in Valladolid, Spain. Please also remember in prayer Daniel Gillard who is currently making a formal application to the Diocese for the coming academic year.
Today there is special collection to pay for the training of these young men and the money you give is essential. In 2014 expenditure on training these future priests exceeded income by £165,000. Please give generously.