News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool
by Peter Ross
I was thrilled to be asked earlier this year, to contribute to the ‘Catholic Pic’ in the form of a ‘Letter from Oscott’ for 2019/20. I’m conscious that Peter Murphy did an exceptional job last year and I will do my best to keep that standard up. To start, I think it right that I should properly introduce myself.
I’m 24 and when not at Oscott I live at home with my mum, dad, and two younger brothers. I’m from St Margaret Mary’s Parish in Liverpool and I attended St Edward’s College. It was during my time at school that I first became aware of a calling to the priesthood, and so I began attending discernment events and getting involved with other events for young Catholics to assist my discernment. After finishing my A-Levels, I began studying Applied Youth and Community Development at the University of Derby.
Upon completing my degree, I applied for Seminary and Archbishop Malcolm sent me to the Royal English College, Valladolid to experience the Propaedeutic Year. After my year in Spain, I received the great news, that I was to join the community at St Mary's College, Oscott in Birmingham. I arrived at Oscott in August 2018 and I am now at the beginning of my second year at Oscott and my third overall year of formation.
This September saw the arrival of eight new men from various parts of the UK. This means that Oscott is still the biggest seminary serving England and Wales, with a total of 46 seminarians. 2019/20, is poised to be a particularly important year, as Blessed John Henry Newman, a man closely associated with Oscott, is due to be canonised by Pope Francis on 13th October. Blessed John Henry knew the College well and received the Sacrament of Confirmation in our Chapel. For all of us here, it serves as a special blessing and aid to prayer, to know that he walked our corridors.
Aside from the upcoming canonisation celebrations, there is much else to be optimistic about this year at College. I am studying many new subjects, including Christian Spirituality and Homiletics. Also, I’m due to start a new placement at a secondary school in Birmingham, which I’m very enthusiastic about.
Let's all pray for each other.