Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Here I am Lord, send me

There are currently five young men in formation for the priesthood or religious life who have had a connection with Newman House in the past few years. Each of them were a significant presence while they were with us. It's the way of things here that each year we have a completely new set of residents and community members, so those from even one year ago are easily forgotten! Alan Paton wrote a little poem about his (and my) old school, Maritzburg College, which had these lines:

Old walls that echoed to our cries,
our tears, our voices,
our laughter,
and echo now
to those who follow after.

There may be new voices now, but these lads certainly made our walls echo while they were here! We are immensely proud of each of them!

So here are our five:

Jerome Santamaria
Resident at Newman House 2004/2005

Jerome must have been the tallest resident of Newman House ever! He had some pretty neat dance moves, and a dry, sardonic humour which could at times be unnerving, and a natty line in hats! He certainly was a presence in the House. A lawyer by training and profession (he was in London for further studies) Jerome discerned his vocation and made his response while he was at Newman House.

Jerome is now studying for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College, Carlton, for the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Robert Colquhoun
Member of King's College Cathsoc until 2004; Received into Full Communion with the Catholic Church at Newman House, 2004

Robert is the odd man out here, because he was not resident at NH. He nevertheless has a connection with us because it was here he was received
into full communion with the Church. Robert had been an active member of the KCL Cathsoc, and under the guidance of Fr Tim Calvert OP, the then chaplain, he joined the Catholic Church. After a spell in the city, Robert joined the World Youth Alliance and was then sent for a "pre-seminary" year to the Royal English College, Valladolid.

Robert is now studying for the priesthood at Allen Hall, Chelsea, for the Archdiocese of Westminster.

Daniel Jeffries
Resident at Newman House 2002-2004

What can we say about Daniel? A person with a great sense of fun and deeply committed to his faith, he also had a fashion sense that made the rest of us gasp, heehee. There are lots of witty sayings from Daniel that continue to echo around the walls of NH - like the time he described the image of our Lady veiled for Holy Week: "She looks like our Lady of Afghanistan now!" Daniel arrived at NH with a clear sense of his vocation, which is now being actualised. He was President of KCL Cathsoc, and after NH moved to More House. He spent a year as a Dominican Volunteer in the Philippines before joining the noviciate of the Dominicans.

Daniel is now in formation with the Order of Preachers in Cambridge

David Wingfield
Resident at Newman House 2004/2005

David was received into the Catholic Church shortly before coming to NH. Very early on he was given the nickname "The Brigadier", which he relished! This reflected his very English sense of style and his general demeanour. Yes, David is a thoroughly English gentleman. After leaving NH David taught for a year, before being selected for training for the priesthood. A few posts below are some photos of David in Rome.

David is now studying for the priesthood at the Venerable English College, Rome, for the Archdiocese of Westminster

Ian Mannion
Resident at Newman House 2003-2006; Received into Full Communion with the Catholic Church at Newman House in 2004

Ian arrived at NH as an Anglican and left as a Benedictine postulant! Another renowned wit who had a great sense of fun alongside his deep commitment to his faith, Ian was an invaluable member of the community because he seemed to be at the heart of so much of what went on here. He certainly kept the Senior Chaplain on his toes! My famous early remark to Ian was: "I have three things planned for you: first, we are going to make you a Catholic, next we will get you ordained and then we will find you a job with the CDF!" This is because Ian is immensely intelligent with a razor sharp ability to analyse. His training is in biochemsitry, but he also has a great interest in languages (let's see, he speaks Italian, French, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin ... did I miss any?) and is a very fine musician.

Ian is now a postulant at Ampleforth Abbey, Yorkshire

Please pray for our alumni in formation. And pray that there will be many who come after them.

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