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Seminarians accepted as candidates for Holy Orders

On the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, May 9, Oscott College was adorned with the presence of many guests and priests who gathered to partake in the Solemn Mass of the Ascension and witness the Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders for seminarians Anthony Reilly and Peter Ho.

Leading the congregation was Bishop Peter Collins, Bishop of East Anglia, who served as the principal celebrant of the Mass. In a momentous occasion, Bishop Peter conferred Candidacy to Holy Orders upon the two seminarians from East Anglia, alongside their peers from the Archdiocese of Birmingham and the diocese of Brentwood.

The Rite for Admission to Candidacy marks a pivotal step in the journey of each seminarian towards the priesthood. For Anthony and Peter, both currently in their fourth year out of six at Oscott College, this rite symbolises their public declaration of intent to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders, first as deacons and later as priests. It also signifies the Church’s acceptance of this heartfelt desire and formally acknowledges the seminarian’s progression on the path to priesthood.

In his moving homily, Bishop Peter reflected on his own seminary experiences, placing special emphasis on the chapel in Valladolid, Spain, where he began his own journey towards priesthood. He urged the seminarians to hold dear the memories forged at Oscott College, knowing that this institution will always hold a cherished place in their hearts.

Drawing parallels between the 40 days of post-resurrection instruction given to the Apostles and the seminarians’ four-year journey of formation, Bishop Peter reminded them of the virtue of patience and anticipation. Just as the Apostles awaited the dawn of Pentecost, the seminarians are encouraged to await the fulfilment of their vocations with steadfast faith and unwavering commitment.

During the Rite of Admission, the bishop addressed the candidates, affirming, “The Church receives your resolves with joy. May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfilment.” Let us pray that the new candidates, from this day forth, persevere in their vocation and, clinging to Christ, the High Priest.

Pictured above, from the left, are Anthony Reilly, Bishop Peter Collins and Peter Ho.