Palazzola, the villa of the Venerable English College in Rome, looks across Lake Albano to the Papal Summer residence of Castelgandolfo.
It has long been the venue for the ordination of deacons at the end of a student summer break following exams, and a refuge from the stifling heat of Rome.
Bishop Alan was invited to ordain Peter along with three other men from the Dioceses of Westminster, Hallam and Portsmouth. Three priests from the diocese joined the Bishop for a wonderful ordination mass in Palazzola’s own chapel of Our Lady of the Snows.
After a ferocious storm in Rome the night before, the air was clear on Sunday, July 14, and the villa was a magnificent setting for the ordination and for the celebratory meal which followed – with students, staff, families and guests seated on long tables shaded by an avenue of trees.
Peter has so far spent five years at ‘The Venerabile’. God willing, he will be ordained priest next summer, and then return for a final year to complete his postgraduate studies.
Peter writes: “Diaconal ordination marks the end of five years studying and discerning a long way from home, family, and friends, so it was particularly moving to receive this gift from God, and to celebrate it, in the company of family members and friends who had travelled for the occasion.
“I thank them for their support, and thank all those throughout the diocese who have been praying for me and the other seminarians. Your prayers are a great source of encouragement for us all.
“In his homily at the ordination, Bishop Alan put before us the examples of three saintly deacons, Steven, Lawrence, and Francis, who exemplify the life of holy service I now, by the grace of God, hope to live up to.
I look forward to trying my best to follow their example: over the summer in the diocese, especially my placement at the cathedral in September, and when I return to Rome to continue my formation.
Pictured above is Peter being ordained by Bishop Alan and, below, Peter with the Bishop and his family.