Photo Diocese of Westminster

Cardinal Vincent Nichols ordained three new priests to serve the Diocese of Westminster Photo: Diocese of Westminster

UK: Three new priests for the Diocese of Westminster

At the ordination Mass at Westminster Cathedral, Thomas Blackburn, Domagoj Matakovic and Robert Smialek were surrounded by family and friends, supporting them as they began their journey of priesthood

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(ZENIT News / London, 07.04.2024).- 29 june, Cardinal Vincent Nichols ordained three new priests to serve the Diocese of Westminster.

At the ordination Mass at Westminster Cathedral, Thomas Blackburn, Domagoj Matakovic and Robert Smialek were surrounded by family and friends, supporting them as they began their journey of priesthood. They were also joined by parishioners from across the diocese to celebrate this occasion and pray for the success and faithfulness of their ministries.

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Following their ordination each were presented in-turn with a chalice which dates back to the pre-reformation and forms a part of the cathedral’s historic collection. During the consecration, the Cardinal himself used a chalice belonging to Fr Christopher McKenna, who was the first priest ever ordained at Westminster Cathedral.

One by one, the new priests were greeted and embraced by their brothers with whom they now share a sacred bond.

In his homily Cardinal Vincent Nichols spoke of the priestly calling that exists in all of us:

‘Every baptised person, each one of us, by virtue of that baptism, has been given the character of royal priesthood. This is our deepest identity. Because of this priesthood, we know that our whole life is to be an act of worship of God, an offering made to God, day by day.

‘In this priesthood of the baptised we begin each day with the prayer of a morning offering. In this way every home, every place of work, every moment can be made holy, unfolding in God’s presence. That is our priestly calling: to praise and honour God with our lives.’

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Following his ordination, Fr Robert Smialek said:

‘The Lord in his infinite wisdom brought all sorts of family members, priests, parishioners, and friends into my life to support me. I am therefore, eternally grateful to all the people that I have met along the way, who shared and learned the faith with me, who strengthened and encouraged me and who rejoice in the Lord with me.

‘Much was given to me and now that I am priest, I look forward to giving back with sincere gratitude.’

He also had a message for those discerning a priestly vocation:

‘For those of you who feel the Lord is calling you to the priesthood I implore you to follow him. After eight years of formation, I can say with absolute certainty and truth: God is Good! His ways our not our ways but his ways are far better! ‘

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Their first appointments as assistant priests are as follows:

Fr Thomas Blackburn – Our Lady of Lourdes, New Southgate

Fr Domagoj Matokovic – Our Lady Help of Christians, Rickmansworth, St John Fisher, Chorleywood and St John the Evangelist, Mill End

Fr Robert Smialek – St Joseph, Transfiguration, St Hilda, Stevenage Parishes

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