Ordination Reflections

This year the Archdiocese of Southwark is blessed to have three seminarians being ordained to the Priesthood by Archbishop John Wilson at 12.30 pm on Saturday 16th July in St George's Cathedral. Here they offer their personal reflections as they approach ordination. Please remember them, and their ministry, in your prayers.

Approaching Ordination

- Reflections from those to be Ordained to the Priesthood - 


Deacon Michael Etuka

Dcn Michael EtukaHow am I feeling as I approach the Ordination?

That's a good question. I suppose I feel relatively normal. I am aware that I have a big event on the horizon. I have an impression of humility as the event will be humbling in terms of the occasion itself and the people that will be there. It will be a dignified occasion with Our Lord present. At every mass heaven and earth collide (Lumen Gentium 50). I know that I cannot fully understand the significance of the ordination as it approaches.   

I recently went on my canonical retreat. It lasted a week and was for the most part silent. It did give me time to reflect on my life and my person. Towards the end, for personal reasons I started to feel very anxious, especially in the mornings. I still seem to feel that way. I am looking forward to the ordination. I keep trusting and praying. God will lead. 

Michael Etuka

Deacon Michael Etuka

Deacon Joseph Gulliford

Deacon Joseph GullifordIt is difficult to put into words how I am feeling on the brink of Priestly Ordination. In truth, I have many mixed feelings.  I have found myself often recalling the past, all that has led me here, while also thinking ahead to what life as a Priest will really be like. One thing remains at the deepest level – a yearning to simply walk forward and accept.  Accepting God’s will is often both incredibly easy, for when we do it He does the heavy lifting as we embrace and trust Him, and incredibly hard, for there always seems to be some kind of resistance in our will – clinging on to control and curiously over-pondering that question what if?  Another question I can think too much about is am I ready?

I am not ready or worthy by any measure of skill or preparation or by my own volition, but I am ready to say yes and I am ready to accept.  Our Lady’s fiat speaks powerfully to me right now.  This ‘let it be done’ is completely disempowering but at the same time abundantly grace-filled and enlightening.  Such is the step of surrender, the necessary death that leads to life.  I say to the Lord ‘here I am’.  On my prayer card I have chosen an icon of Christ the High Priest, something that touched my heart at an Ordination in my first year in Seminary.  For to Him belongs the Priesthood and all it entails.  Still, He is willing to give this gift to someone like me.  So on my prayer card I have also written that “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). “Glory be to Him whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine…” (Ephesians 3:20-21). 

Deacon Joseph Guillford

Deacon Joseph Gulliford 

Deacon Allan MacDonald

Dcn Allan MacDonald

When I am asked about my ordination I am surprisingly very calm. I am reminded of the words of our Lord in the Gospel of John when he says "You did not choose me, no I chose you." It is the culmination of a six-year formation process and I am confident more than ever that this is the work that the Lord has chosen me to do. The stress now is coming from all the little details involved in an ordination, which is keeping me very busy. 

I am also very humbled by all the well wishes and prayers I have received as my time for ordination nears. These come from a wide range of people from parishioners I have worked with recently to friends and family from my past. In fact, as I am writing this, I am just about to have dinner with my Mother who has come from overseas for my ordination. Please, I ask everyone to keep me in your prayers as I start on this new path, and be assured of mine. 

Deacon Allan MacDonald

Deacon Allan MacDonald

Images: with thanks to Marcin Mazur (CBCEW)

Please keep those to be ordained in your prayers

Prayer for Clergy

God, please give to your Church today
many more priests after your own heart.

May they be worthy representatives of Christ the Good Shepherd.
May they wholeheartedly devote themselves to prayer and penance;
be examples of humility and poverty;
shining models of holiness;
tireless and powerful preachers of the Word of God;
zealous dispensers of your grace in the sacraments.

May their loving devotion to your Son Jesus in the Eucharist
and to Mary his Mother be the twin fountains of fruitfulness for their ministry.

- St John Vianney

Patron Saint of Parish Priests

Join the Diocese online at 12.30 pm on Saturday 16th July for the Ordinations

Priests Training Fund

Priests Training Fund

The Archdiocese supports its seminarians through six years of training and formation, leading to Ordination to the Priesthood.  Please consider investing in the future of our Church in Southwark by making a gift to the Priests Training Fund today.

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