Fr Anthony Asomugha ordained priest in East Anglia

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Fr Anthony Asomugha ordained priest in East Anglia

On Saturday May 18, in a joyous celebration, Dcn Anthony Asomugha was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich.

The ceremony was led by Bishop Peter Collins, with Bishop Emeritus Alan Hopes, also in attendance. Many other clergy members, family, friends, and parishioners joined in the celebration.

Fr Anthony Asomugha’s family moved to the UK in 2006 and settled in Southeast London. He initially applied for priestly formation in the Southwark Archdiocese but was unsuccessful. Following advice to pursue a university degree, he joined the diocese in 2011 as an undergraduate student in Economics at the University of East Anglia. Towards the end of his time at UEA, he reapplied for priestly formation and was accepted by Bishop Emeritus Alan. In the year of his graduation, 2014, he joined Allen Hall Seminary in Chelsea, London.

Bishop Peter delivered the homily during the Mass, emphasizing the true calling of a priest. He said, “Understand clearly, from the outset, that the project and the intention that you are called to embrace is not that which is fashioned by yourself but rather that which is fashioned by Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. A priest is called to offer himself, to sacrifice himself, in communion with Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. In the midst of his fellow disciples, in the midst of all his brothers and sisters, the priest is called to empty himself to the point where he has nothing to offer up other than Christ himself. In allegiance to the teaching of St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, which presents the earliest account of the institution of the Holy Eucharist, the priest must serve the “project and intention” of Christ himself and proclaim: this is what I received from the Lord, and in turn pass on to you – this is my body, which is for you – this cup is the new covenant in my blood.” After the homily, Fr Anthony Asomugha took his sacred vows, marking the beginning of his journey as a priest.

Fr Anthony’s journey to priesthood began very young. “I knew I wanted to be a priest from a very young age – about 6 or 7 years old,” he recalls. “As a child, I was fascinated with God, and I had (and still have) an appetite for philosophy and theology. I regard this appetite as a gift – to be interested in the truth, and in the meaning of life. Jesus said “no one can come to Me unless the Father draws him” (John 6:44) – this curiosity, fascination, or interestedness, was me being drawn to the mystery of God. The liturgy with its drama and awesomeness fed my fascination with the transcendent. And it was upon seeing my parish priest ascend the sanctuary vested in his chasuble that I knew that I wanted to pray in that way – and so I did, with my altar, crucifix, bible, and (makeshift) chasuble – and I was genuinely praying, not acting.”

Reflecting on the day, and his first Mass the following day, Fr Anthony said: “The ordination ceremony was like a dream, as was the first Mass on Pentecost Sunday. Many thanks to all who attended, and to those who worked to make these occasions a success. I am grateful to Bishop Emeritus Alan for his steadfast support of my vocation and to Bishop Peter for his confidence, support, and for the gift of Holy Orders. I am also grateful to all my friends for their support, to my family who never doubted my vocation, and to my parents who nourished my faith as a child. I look forward to being that definite instrument through which the mystery of the Eucharist draws more people unto eternal life.”

Following the Mass, there were photos, a large shared buffet, and an opportunity for attendees to receive a blessing from the newly ordained Fr Anthony.

You can read Bishop Peter’s full homily here.

Pictured above, from the left, are Bishop Emeritus Alan Hopes, Fr Anthony Asomugha and Bishop Peter Collins.

See below for the full photo gallery.

Ordination to the Priesthood of Fr Anthony Asomugha, St John's Cathedral, Norwich, May 2024