On the 15th of this month, the Beda College will temporarily move across the road to the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls (pictured) and we will be joined for Mass there by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon who will ordain to the diaconate nine men from the College, including Michael Barrett for our own Archdiocese.
In so many ways, the ordination of deacons – and then the ordination of priests back in their respective countries – is the high point, the culmination and indeed the purpose of all our work throughout the year. The seminary is exactly what the word suggests; it is where the seeds – semina – of faith and vocation are nurtured and strengthened, but the seminary is not an end in itself. The ordained ministry which our students will exercise in their dioceses and religious orders (at present we have students from 12 countries, ranging from England to Australia, via Malaysia and Tanzania) is the ongoing living out of the call of our baptism, the call of baptism which you and I have received and which we try to make visible and real in whatever our calling in life – mother or father, son or daughter, married or single, consecrated or ordained.
As we heard a few weeks ago on the Solemnity of Pentecost, all our lives go to make up a unity of faith – a unity which is God's gift to us as individuals but also a gift to the society and the world in which we are called to live. The need for the good news to be preached to all aspects of our world and our society today is as pressing and as necessary as ever. May the liturgy which forms and nourishes us also be the liturgy which impels us forward in mission: "Go in peace glorifying the Lord by your life." Please remember in your prayers all our students in seminary at this time and those considering and discerning the Lord's call to priesthood, diaconate and religious life. Saint Junipero Serra, pray for them.