Who are we?

Who are the first aspirants to the Sodality?

 

Father Jerry Garton CA

After a somewhat sudden and unexpected conversion experience at SaintJG Aldate’s while in Oxford for the weekend (sudden and unexpected because I didn’t go to church and still have no idea why I did on that particular morning) I found myself being baptised and confirmed into the Church of England and applying to Church Army within the space of eight months. Despite deciding that applying to Church Army was a big mistake and therefore not really trying to impress at my selection conference I still somehow managed to be selected for training, and after three years at the Wilson Carlile College of Evangelism was commissioned in 1981. It was during my time at the college in Blackheath that I discovered anglo-catholicism at All Saints in Blackheath, and found a spirituality that had previously been completely unknown to me. It was also at college that I met my wife. She came to the college staff in my last year and taught me ethics. She is also an aspirant to the Sodality.

Since being commissioned to stipendiary evangelistic ministry I worked in Westgate-on-sea, Woodside (South Norwood) and Sydenham as a parish evanglist, before moving to Peckham as a lay minister in charge. Interestingly that experience taught me more about being a priest than almost anything! I was ordained in 1996 and following a curacy in Clapham am now team vicar of St John the Evangelist, Caterham Valley – just off junction 6 on the M25 – where we also have a large church primary school. I’m also a Priest Associate of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

As a member of the Church Army Mission Community I have already taken vows and am bound to a rule of life. Part of exploring the Sodality for me has been discovering how the Sodality’s rule of life fits alongside the CA rule of life, and how it will enable me as an anglo-catholic priest to follow my priestly calling as a member of a predominantly lay evangelistic community.

The book that most influenced me in my years as a lay evangelist, and still influences me as a priest evangelist, was the first book I was introduced to by my first spiritual director. It is “Seeds of the Desert – the legacy of Charles de Foucauld” by Rene Voillaume, the founder of the Little Brothers of Jesus. It is partly about the life of Charles de Foucauld, and partly about the spirituality and way of life of the Little Brothers. It introduced me to a remarkable priest who spent his whole life seeking to serve the poorest people in the world, and who never sought to promote himself but simply lived out the gospel life – following, as he called it, the hidden life of Jesus at Nazareth. He continues to be an inspiration.

Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Mother Anne-Marie Garton
I am now officially retired, but continue as an associate priest in the AMGCaterham Team Ministry (Diocese of Southwark). I was the Chief Executive of Southwark Diocesan Welcare, a charity working with disadvantaged children and families, until 2013. I combined there a priestly vocation with a social work background. I have an ongoing interest in the social outreach of the church to those on the margins. Now I am “retired” I have more time to be a priest in a parish setting!
I am a “cradle” Anglo-Catholic, having been baptised and brought up at Our Lady of Mercy and St Thomas of Canterbury in Manchester, a beautiful church served by the Company of Mission Priests and now sadly closed. My grandfather was the MC there for many years and my mother sang in the choir. After a period away from the church I eventually found myself back in an Anglo-Catholic Church in the Diocese of Southwark, St Philip’s Sydenham, where I was introduced to Walsingham and a devotion to Our Lady, as well as becoming involved in the lay fraternities of Charles de Foucauld.
My Anglican path then diversified and I have been enriched along the way by the evangelical and charismatic parts of the church. I was, back in the 1980’s, Director of Studies in Ethics and Society at the Church Army College when it was in Blackheath, and retain my connections with Church Army. I am currently exploring being a member of the CA Mission Community. I was a Reader for 18 years before getting ordained in 2002. I trained for the priesthood on SEITE and became a member of SCP when priested. I have served in the Caterham team ministry since ordination and have recently completed training in Spiritual Direction. I am interested in the Sodality because of its focus on the devotional life of priests and encouragement of holiness in the catholic tradition. I am personally seeking something demanding and enriching, and for the church I am seeking something which will uphold and encourage traditional catholic devotion and practice within the Church of England, whilst accepting women as priests and bishops. I am also married to another aspirant to the Sodality, Fr Jerry Garton!
The book that has most influenced the way I try to live my Christian life is Esther DeWaal’s “Seeking God: The Way of St Benedict”, where she interprets the Benedictine Rule for everyday life. I return to every now and again to recharge my spiritual batteries.
Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

 

Mother Angela Gbebikan

AGI am Mother Angela Gbebikan, Vicar of the Parish of South Beddington & Roundshaw  – a large 2 church parish in Southwark Diocese where I have been the incumbent for almost 9 years.

Alongside my parish role I am part of the Deliverance Ministry team in Southwark Diocese,   Area Director of Ordinands, Vocations Adviser and Bishop’s Adviser for Women’s Ministry in the Croydon Episcopal Area.    I am also on the Provincial Council of the Society of Catholic Priests where I am Communications Officer. I don’t have time for much else!

I trained for the priesthood at Westcott House Theological College where I was occasionally told that I was “too catholic”….. not quite sure what that means, in the same way I don’t understand what the phrase “left over wine” might be!

A book that was, and still is, an important part of my faith journey is Thomas Merton’s “The Intimate Merton”…..a selection of writings by someone who tried to live his life as a journey into God, with all the messiness and scandalous behaviour  that sometimes goes with a “lived” life.

Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Andrew Eaton

AFI have been rector of the Parish of Maryborough-Avoca in the Diocese of Bendigo, in Victoria, Australia, since February 2014. We have 7 churches spread across 100’s of km’s of rural Australia. I was ordained Deacon and Priest on St Matthias in 2011 and 2012 respectively in my former curacies of Castlemaine and Daylesford. I was raised in the Roman tradition but found my way into the Anglican church in 2003. AE
My hope for the Sodality is twofold. That under the patronage of Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin our
catholic tradition may flourish in a changing world and changing church. That it may offer myself and other rural clergy a prayerful and collegial support, and a way of growing further into our vocation. I pray there will be other aspirants in Australia and New Zealand, but also that the opportunity may arise to travel to the UK to make retreat with SMMS there.
A book that has helped me tremendously over the journey is Metropolitan Anthony Bloom’s Meditations on a Theme.

Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Paul Barlow

Although I grew up in Oxfordshire, my vocation first stirred whilst I was a postgraduate student in Manchester, where I attended Irish flagHoly  Innocents’ Church in Fallowfield (and where I also met my wife Caroline, who was then PCC Secretary). I was a contemporary at Chichester with Fr. Richard and served my title in the Guildford Diocese before moving to the Winchester Diocese. In 2011 my wife’s job moved to Dublin and I was looking for a move, perhaps away from parish ministry. By chance I discovered that St. John’s, Sandymount (in leafy Dublin 4) were looking for a new priest so I applied, visited Ireland for the first time for my interview, and was offered the job. As St. John’s no longer has a house we had to find and buy a house in three months before moving here. I began ministry here in Dublin just before Advent 2011, so I have been here just four years. St. John’s is pretty unique, having been in the Catholic Tradition since its founding in 1850, it is not a parish church but has trustees (it’s a bit like an English proprietary chapel). My predecessor, Fr. Colquhoun, was brought up before the Court of the General Synod for various misdemeanours, including introducing Stations of the Cross into the church. Although the Station had to be removed at the time, they found their way back to St. John’s a few years ago, so we are the only CofI church with a set.

PBMy hopes for the Sodality are for a place of belonging, where prayer and devotion are encouraged and where we can discover together what it means to be priests in a rapidly changing world. The Catholic Tradition in the Church of Ireland is vanishingly small, St. John’s is a tiny community and we represent something very unusual in Ireland. So, for me, the Sodality offers something which isn’t really present this side of the Irish Sea. Since I have been here the Office has become very important to me, and I have badgered Fr. Richard for suggestions and advice; I think I’m probably the only person in Ireland using the Monastic Diurnal Revised for my daily prayers!

A book I read every year is the late Fr Gerry Hughes’ first book, ‘In Search of a Way’. It’s the story of his pilgrimage on foot to Rome in 1975.

Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Canada_flag_halifax_9_-04Father Dr. Stephen McClatchie
I am a cleric in the Diocese of Huron in Canada. In 2015, on the Feast of St. Barnabas, I was ordained to the diaconate and will be ordained priest on the Feast of St. Andrew. I serve as an honorary assistant to the Rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist, London, Ontario. A musicologist and singer by training, I became Principal of Huron University College, an Anglican university and seminary, in 2011 and there came to embrace the latent vocation to the priesthood that had seemed closed to me as a married, gay man. When I conclude my term as Principal this summer, I will continue to serve as Professor of Theology, History, and Culture and teach church history, music, and liturgy to seminarians at Huron. I also hope to begin to integrate my existing field of research in 19th-century music aesthetics and Wagner with my recent interests in theology, music, and the numinous.
I was baptised and confirmed in the United Church of Canada before discovering that I was an Anglican in the early 1990s SMwhen I was hired as a tenor soloist in my current parish. Through study and prayer, I have become convinced of the truth of Bl. John Henry Newman’s maxim that “to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant” and have found a home in Anglo-Catholicism.
The Sodality attracts me because of its commitment to an affirming yet orthodox Catholic spirituality under the patronage of Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin. I have been much influenced by Newman’s writings, especially the Apologia pro vita sua. I discovered the Sodality through social media and am grateful to Fr Richard for alerting me to Bl. Columba Marmion’s Christ: the Ideal of the Priest, a work that has given me much to contemplate in recent months and which I am planning to take on my ordination retreat.
I pray that the SMMS will be open to Sodalists from across the Anglican Communion and to the possibility of establishing local chapters abroad.

Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Seminarian Sebastian Hamilton
I am currently in formation at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield. The Sodality has appealed to me as a source of SHinspiration, as a source of confidence in the way in which I relate to God, and as a potential means of continuing to be formed in that relationship long after I leave the College – whatever I might be doing then!
I would recommend Graham Greene’s ‘The Power and the Glory’ to anyone as a beautiful and moving exploration of the universal call to holiness. Greene uses the central character of the ‘whisky priest’ to explore what priesthood is and, perhaps even more uniquely and poignantly, why it is important. I have not been able to look at The Mass in the same way since reading it.
A few of us have begun using the Little Office in the Oratory on a Saturday morning.

Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Fr Ross Gunderson
RGI was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland into a Presbyterian (Church of Scotland) family.  Having spent significant time both abroad and then latterly in London I moved over to the Church of England.  Home for the last 10 plus years has been in London, living, working in the Search industry.
Recently ordained, this Petertide, into the Diaconate and working as Assistant Curate at St Barnabas, Dulwich in Southwark.
My hope is for the Sodality to affirm my Catholic values and traditions while providing a space and group of likeminded clergy to look at mission opportunities, particularly the revival and flourishing of Anglo-Catholic worship, with all the beauties and mysteries that are present.
Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Dr. Hugo F. Adán Fernández

I was born in Madrid (Spain) in one of the most conflicted areas of the city at that time. My days as a teenager and young adult HA
were shaped by the presence of the worker priests and the christian base communities. With them is where I learned the meaning of the sacramental understanding of God and history. After ten years of training (which included Tanzania and Morocco working in the refugee camps and with the street children respectively) I was ordained priest twelve years ago. After my ordination I became parish priest of the Cathedral and a canon.

During my ministry I have been always involved in three main aspects: Training (being professor in the Seminary and in the Diocesan Theological School for lay leaders); Youth ministry and Liberation Theology (working with Caritas and local communities).

Three years ago I became Anglican and now I am curate at St Laurence, Catford (Southwark).

My hope is that the SMMS will be a place where the original input of the Anglo-Catholic movement will be renewed. A place where with confidence in our Catholic identity we will be able to explore the prophetic consequences of sacramental thought.

Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Matthew Duckett
I’ve been Priest in Charge of St Peter le Poer in Muswell Hill since 2013, having previously served my Title in the Parish of Old MDSt Pancras. I’m one of those who seems to need a rich diet of traditional devotion and spirituality in order to flourish, and to “bring out of the treasure house things both old and new”. I’m heartened and encouraged by the formation of the Sodality which seems to me to meet just such a need for our times. It is good to have a robust and extensive proposed Rule, enriched with many nourishing devotional practices, an encouragement to real priestly discipline and joy. It being part of human nature that we do things better if we do them together, the Rule reminds me of George Herbert’s introduction to his “Country Parson”: “I have resolved to set down the Form and Character of a true Pastour, that I may have a Mark to aim at: which also I will set as high as I can, since hee shoots higher that threatens the Moon, then hee that aims at a Tree”.

A book that has helped me very much over the years is St John XXIII’s “Journey of a Soul”, his edited diaries and journals. In the course of training and in my ministry I have often found he has had something to say to me that was exactly what I needed to hear at the time. A much newer friend is Blessed Columba Marmion (I am indebted to Fr Richard for the introduction); “Christ the Ideal of a Priest” is full of wisdom and encouragement, and I am now starting on “Christ the Life of the Soul”.

Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Jonathan Kester

JKI’ve been Parish Priest of Emmanuel Church, West Hampstead since 2008 and Assistant Director of Ordinands in the Diocese of London in the Edmonton Episcopal Area since 2009.  Born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, the son of and oil engineer, a cradle Anglican, I was baptised in my grandparents’ church in Cambridgeshire before being brought up in the Diocese of Chichester, which immersed in Anglo-Catholicism from an early age.  After graduating in theology from Exeter University, a time as an auxiliary nurse in the West Country and then a year getting parish experience on the Root Group at St Alban’s Abbey, I was privileged to receive my formation for ordination at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield at the beginning of the 1990s.
A curacy at St Mary’s, Cheshunt in St Albans Diocese was followed by four years in central London as Chaplain to the Bishop of Edmonton, where I also served as media and communications adviser to the episcopal area.  My first incumbency was at St Mary’s, Great Ilford in the diverse and multi-cultural east London Borough of Redbridge in Chelmsford Diocese from where I moved back to the Diocese of London to West Hampstead in 2008.
I hope and pray that the emerging SMMS will be a place of nurture, continuing formation and fellowship among priests, ordinands and those discerning a vocation to the sacred ministry of the Church and will fulfil a particular role in the enriching and rooting the spirituality of the whole Church.

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Matthew Catterick

MatthewI have been Vicar of St Saviour’s, Pimlico since 2011, and am the son and grandson of Anglo-Catholic priests. My priestly formation was at St Stephen’s House in the early 1990s; turbulent years for those who honour tradition and yet sense God’s call to a modern world. In what was an ideological battlefield I sometimes identified with everyone, yet more often with no one at all.

My hope for SMMS is that our on-going formation may be nourished with a rich diet of fellowship and prayer. I am keen to look beyond some of the issues that have dominated our attention of late and rediscover an approach to priestly life that sees in Mary, Mother of Priests, a complete self-offering to God.

Having studied George Herbert many years ago I now appreciate our shared vocation, with both its joys and sorrows. Here are a few words from The Collar:

I struck the board, and cried, “No more” …

But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild

At every word,

Methought I heard one calling, Child!

And I replied My Lord.

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Justin Hutchersonunnamed

I am currently the Assistant Curate in the United Benefice of Corringham and Fobbing in the Diocese of Chelmsford. I was ordained priest this year (2015) and undertook my training at St Stephen’s House in Oxford. I was baptised and confirmed as an adult in 2006 during my first degree which was in theology, prior to this I worshiped with the Society of Friends but am originally from a non-religious household. My time with the Quaker’s always lead me to seek a spiritual and theological explanation for the outward vestiges of religion, and also gave me a deeply political perspective on faith. I found my home among Anglo-Catholics very quickly!
I hope the SMMS will continue to feed and nourish the theological and spiritual underpinning that is necessary to sustain the priestly character. Through fellowship, prayer and encouragement I see the SMMS offering me the support network to sustain my ministry and so advance the catholic faith wherever God might call me.
A book I have found useful among those more reluctant devotees of Our Lady  is “The Blesssed Virgin Mary: Essays by Anglican Writers” Ed. by E. L. Mascall and H. S. Box. A collection of dated, but still interesting, essays reminding us of the place of honour given to Mary in the Anglican Tradition.

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Trevor Thurston-Smith

UntitledI am Rector of Wigston, a large suburban benefice on the edge of the city of Leicester. My priestly formation was at Chichester Theological College and I served curacies in Rotherham (Diocese of Sheffield) and Burton-on-Trent (Diocese of Lichfield).   In 1990, in the wake of the ‘Higton’ debate in General Synod, I made the painful decision to leave full-time ministry as it seemed that neither I nor the church could at that stage reconcile my sexuality and vocation. I moved to Derby and worked for Social Services and then for a local housing association in a hostel for people recovering from mental health problems. I then moved to a charity affiliated to ‘Shelter’ helping to develop specialist housing for people with mental health problems, and later to the Methodist Charity MHA Care Group as a Regional Community Projects Manager. During this time I developed a ‘freelance’ ministry to people living with HIV in and around Derby, and in 2005 I returned to full time ministry as the Bishop of Leicester’s Chaplain for people affected by HIV. The call to return to parish ministry proved to be irresistible, and I later became Priest in Charge of Broughton Astley and Croft with Stoney Stanton, before moving to Wigston in 2014. I’m currently reading Richard Rohr’s “Immortal Diamond” which is a fascinating study of how we overcome the ego and find our true self, especially in later life, and how it impacts upon our spiritual journey.

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Mother Erica Wooff

Hello, I’m Erica and for the past seven years I have been Rector of Charlton, two parishes bordering the River Thames from the 12191614_10153217762226009_5148203378736042038_nO2 to the Thames Barrier in the glorious Diocese of Southwark: God’s Own Diocese.
Prior to this, I served my title in Sydenham and, before ordination, served in the Diplomatic Service. I am passionate about crossing boundaries in community and our mission to children and young people. Our Lady is my inspiration, St Catherine of Siena is my patron. I describe myself as a Book of Common Prayer Catholic.
My aspiration for the Sodality is that, together as priests in the Anglican Catholic tradition, we may continuously deepen our discipleship through the grace of God and the intercession of Mary to become more Christ centred and outward focused.
I am influenced in my priesthood by whatever book I am currently  reading. In All Saintstide 2015 this is ‘God’s Troublemakers: How women of faith are changing the world’ by Katherine Rhodes Henderson (2006) Continuum.  This is a book about women who are leaders in the public arena and whose work is religiously motivated. They have invented organisations to ‘repair the world’ and are socio-ethical entrepreneurs. They are Christian, Muslim and Jewish.

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Christopher Holden

photo self 1I am parish priest of The Church of the Ascension, Torrisholme in the Diocese of Blackburn. Prior to this post I was curate at Christ Church, Carnforth and was fortunate during my vocational journey to spend time working with the Mission to Seafarers in Dunkerque. I trained for the priesthood at Westcott House and prior to that studied at Lancaster University. It is my hope that SMMS will be not only a group of catholic minded clergy but a strong support network of prayer and encouragement. I look forward sharing my hopes and aspirations alongside my brothers and sisters of the Sodality.

Art and creativity play a large part in my recreational life and spirituality and so it is a book about the paintings of Janet McKenzie ‘Holiness and the Feminine Spirit’ that I have chosen. Her striking, challenging and luminous images, accompanied in the book by reflections on the art by a number of leading women writers and theologians, recall the powerful women of Jesus and their equally powerful message to the Church today.

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Mother Imogen Black

I am the parish priest for St Thomas, Somercotes, and associate priest for the neighbouring parishes of Alfreton, Riddings and MogIronville, all of which are former mining communities in East Derbyshire. I served my title in Belper, also in Derbyshire, having explored my vocation on the North London Pastoral Assistants scheme, and trained for the priesthood at St Stephen’s House.

I have been very conscious since leaving the House that there was no priestly society that I could join that shared my understanding of Catholic teaching and practice; my hope for the Sodality is that it will offer the same level of fraternity, prayer and guidance in the priestly life which SSC priests are able to enjoy.

A book which intrigues me, which I’m probably due to read again, is Segundo Galilea’s Temptation and Discernment. This describes the most common temptations which face us in prayer and ministry, especially those which appear on the surface good, and I think is a very useful aid to self-examination.

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father AKMA Adam

I am the Tutor in New Testament at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. I trained for ministry in the USA three decades ago, followedAA by a doctoral studies on the relation of exegesis to theology. My writing has focused on hermeneutics, with particular emphasis on the theoretical basis for retrieving a catholic practice of spiritual biblical interpretation. My hope for the Sodality of Mary, Mother of Priests, is that it can sustain the clarity and rigour of traditional catholic theological reasoning, the durable commitment of sodalists and associates to one another and to the Sodality, and the articulate representation of the vocations of all whom God calls to priesthood

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Clive Hillman

CHBaptised on Easter Day, born on the anniversary of St Thomas Moore’s martyrdom, a cradle Anglo-Catholic, and blessed by Pope John Paul II at the age of 10, I suppose it was inevitable that I was going to be an Anglo-Catholic priest.  After graduating in Biology from York University, I trained at Saint Stephens House,  was made Deacon in 1996, aged 24, and Ordained priest in 1997.
I have served in three provinces (York, Canterbury & Wales), as a curate (Hull), a team vicar (Crawley), a vicar (Betws-y-Coed and Dolwyddelan), a rector (Penmachno), a chaplain (among Deaf People & St John’s College, Cambridge) and, now, priest in charge of St Clements, Leigh – on – Sea (a place of simple Bible-based religion, where the nephew and great-nephew of Bishop King of Lincoln brought full faith Catholicism, and where my parents and grandparents were married.)
A book I would recommend anyone of faith is Saint Augustine’s Confessions.

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Mother Lisa Temperley

Hi, I am Mother Lisa from the Diocese of Leicester where I am currently Rector of three rural parishes and Padre to Welbeck LTDefence College. I come from a Roman Catholic background and felt called to the sacred priesthood at ten years old. I trained for ordination at Westcott House and served my curacy in Leicester.

I have been a member of Leicester Chapter of SCP for the last four years including having been Chapter Rector for two of them. One of my favourite saints is St. Francis of Assisi hence belonging to the Third Order of The Society of St. Francis.

Being a priest to me is to be ordained to be an alter Christus and to make Christ present for his people by saying Mass for others and to live out my priesthood in the spirit of + Frank Weston of Zanzibar where You cannot claim to worship Jesus in the Tabernacle, if you did not pity Jesus in the slums and poverty.’

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Sebastian Hyatt

BRAfter formation at Chichester Theological College, I was ordained in 1988 for the Monmouth Diocese. After some time as a research student working on the Latin texts of 19th and early 20thC papal social encyclicals, especially Inscrutabili to Quadragesimo Anno, and serving a couple of chaplaincies in education, I became a Chaplain to the Forces in 2006.

Since joining the Army I have served in Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2010 I was the infantry battlegroup chaplain in Helmand Province, described at the time as the most dangerous place on earth. It seemed then that the whole of my training, theological, spiritual, physical and mental throughout my life, were solely in preparation for that exhausting and hellish seven months. Sadly, with casualties both physical and mental, my battalion lost an entire Company, and the battlegroup had some heavy losses. I am happy to be still serving with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (now Second Battalion).

It was on that tour that I began to recognise the importance of sacerdotal fellowship, Our chaplains were a tightly knit team – and is was necessary to be thus in order to survive. I see SMMS as fulfilling that need in civilian life.

The Little Office contains much that special to us. It was the discovery of this office in a second-hand bookshop when I was twelve that was one of the earliest parts of my later priestly formation.

I use a pseudonym partly for security reasons online. I have 2,400 squaddies on Facebook with me who know me as this. The discerning will see on the uniform the name under which I am known!

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Felix Smith

I’m a curate from the Diocese of Leicester. Priested in 2015, I trained for ministry at Ripon College Cuddesdon, where I studied FSfor a Masters in Applied Theology at Oxford University. Before that I was a theology student at Edinburgh University, where I first explored the possibility of ordination at Old St. Pauls, Edinburgh.

My main academic interests are Animal Ethics and Liturgy (though not at the same time!), and I’m currently studying for a Masters in Liturgy at Sarum College.

My interest in the Sodality is two-fold: the spiritual sustenance that it can provide, and the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by like-minded clergy.

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Diego Galanzino

030I am the parish priest at All Saints, Houghton Regis, in St Albans Diocese. I took up this post in June 2015 after a four years curacy in Truro Diocese. I trained for ordination at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, having explored the possibility of Ordination at St Botolph’s without-Aldgate in London. I am part of the Formation Group of the sodality and I am currently looking at the Sodality’s devotions and liturgies. Personally, I am interested in the Church Father and Christian ethics.

I feel that the Sodality, as a dispersed community of priests, would be a living icon of the disciples who devoted themselves with one accord to prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus (Cf. Acts 1:14).

A book I could suggest about Our Lady is Mary, the Church at the Source, by Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Ratzinger (later Benedict XVI).

Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father Richard PeersIMG_3483

I was ordained in 1994, having trained at Chichester Theological College, served my title in Middlesbrough and then served in a parish in Portsmouth before returning to schools (my first career) as a teacher and chaplain, later school leader and chaplain. I am now Head Master of Trinity, Lewisham. I am in the seventh year of headship which is hugely demanding and rewarding. I am licensed to St Mary, Lewisham and enjoy that ministry too.

A book on priesthood that is still very strong for me, after first reading it as a teenager, is Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory. I identify with the flawed, cowardly ‘whisky priest’ but hope that as God works in him and through him he might work through me too. In the end the priest acquires holiness, so there is hope for me, and that is what I am looking for in the Sodality, a community that challenges and encourages me so that I might make Jesus known despite my all too obvious failings.

“He said, ‘Oh god, help her. Damn me, I deserve it, but let her live forever.’ This was the love he should have felt for every soul in the world: all the fear and the wish to save concentrated unjustly on the one child. He began to weep…. He thought: This is what I should feel all the time for everyone.”

And as the priest goes to meet his death:

“He knew now that at the end there was only one thing that counted—to be a saint.”

Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum
Dominic Cawdell

11891224_10205974995032008_4875761879475083176_nI am an ordinand from the Diocese of St. Asaph (Church in Wales), currently in the final year of a Theology degree at Cambridge before going on to formal training in September. I became interested in the Sodality of Mary through a friend and am drawn to its Manual as a means to sanctify my life now and, God willing, in my future ministry. I hope the Sodality will provide a way to remain rooted in the Catholic and deeply Marian faith from which my vocation to the sacred priesthood flourished and took hold of my life. The gift of a demanding rule along with mutual society, which the Sodality offers, is very attractive and I hope to one day be admitted to the Sodality as a priest.

At the moment, the book I would offer to the Sodality is An Augustine Synthesis (arranged by E. Przywara). This book is a collection of extended quotations loosely arranged, taken from the whole corpus of Saint Augustine’s work, a saint whose influence on Western Christianity can hardly be underestimated. To read this book is to enter into the thought of St. Augustine of Hippo and is a great way-in to reading more of St. Augustine’s writings. His writings on grace, on the sacraments, on Our Lady and his honest look at the sinfulness of humanity are timeless and beautiful. St. Augustine was a man who lived to praise and serve the Lord and his words bear the mark of his passionate and restless soul which was so enflamed by the love of the Triune God. This truly is a remarkable collection from a remarkable Saint, the one warning is that after reading this wonderful collection, I found I wanted to quote St. Augustine in every homily!

 Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum
Matthew Cashmore
MCI am an Ordinand at Ripon College Cuddesdon. I am also a Trustee of SPCK. My life previous to training was mostly concerned with digital research & development and publishing. I have a great love of books and a great love of technology – two things that often don’t fit well together. I live at home wth my wife, Catherine, my son, Edmund, our two dogs – Dora and Sophie, and our two cats – Abby and Kitty, not forgetting our three chickens, Penelope(4), Daphne(2) and Wilma(3).
I have been drawn to the Sodality because I feel we need a place of Peace and Grace to explore our calling, both now – during seminary – and once ordained. The understanding of what a dispersed community may mean is one I’m eager to explore more fully. A place of calm reflection, dedication and prayer – rather than one of division, politics and argument.
I’m right at the start of my journey but so far the book that’s had the biggest impact on me is Michael Ramsey’s, The Christian Priest Today. It had a huge impact on me as I was stepping through discernment and I have recently re-read it, I feel it has a lot to say to even the ‘longest-toothed’ Priest.

Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

Father John-Francis Friendship

Having spent ten years as a secular parish priest (after 25 as a Franciscan friar), I left parish ministry in 2011 and now offer a JFFministry of spiritual direction and pastoral supervision. I also teach on two Courses at the London Spirituality Centre in the City. I have been seeking a way of belonging to a company of priests (and laypeople) who are committed to the fullness of Catholic life and practice, something I think SMMS could possibly offer.

IF YOU WANT, THE VIRGIN WILL COME

If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the road

pregnant with the holy, and say,

“I need shelter for the night,

please take me inside your heart, my time is so close.”

Then, under the roof of your soul,

you will witness the sublime intimacy,

the divine, the Christ, taking birth forever,

as she grasps your hand for help,

for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us.

Yes there, under the dome of your being

does creation come into existence eternally,

through your womb, dear pilgrim –

the sacred womb of your soul,

as God grasps our arms for help:

for each of us is his beloved servant, never far.

If you want,

the Virgin will come walking down the street

pregnant with light and sing.

John of the Cross, ‘If You Want’ in Daniel Ladinsky’s Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. (New York: Penguin Group, 2002), 306-307

Sodalitas Mariae, Matris Sacerdotum

JAFather Johannes Arens

I am Canon Precentor at Leicester Cathedral, therefore mostly concerned with making sure that others who come to the cathedral as visitors or worshippers are given the opportunity to make an experience of the Holy.

Working in a mixed economy – which cathedrals are of vocation and necessity – makes it important to actively pursue spiritual nourishment, which is why SMMS fulfils a need for me.
One of the most influential books for me on Our Lady is a collection of modern Marian poetry, mainly concerned with the liberating and political dimension of Marian Devotion. (Johannes Thiele: Die andere Maria. Herder, 1990.) It showed me ‘the other side of Mary’: Our Lady of the Poor, Our Lady of Queers, Our Lady, Sister of the Bereaved and this fits in with Our Lady, Mother of Priests.
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