Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, has ordained two new Priests and one new Deacon for the Diocese of Westminster in a series of ordination services this month. The three men have been studying for the priesthood at Allen Hall, the Diocese of Westminster's seminary in Chelsea, west London. John McKenna was ordained priest on Saturday, 17 June at Our Lady of Fatima, White City, London where he has spent the past year serving as a Deacon. Fr John McKenna was born in London and prior to studying for the priesthood worked as a journalist, at a Job Centre and as a funeral director. He was also a member of Youth 2000 and the Antioch Community. In September 2006 he will become Assistant Priest at St Paul's Church, Wood Green. Fr John said: "The Lord has been faithful to me at every step of my life and I am very grateful for all His blessings. I am also very grateful to my parents, family, relatives and friends, Seminary staff and students and to all the various parishes to which I have belonged, especially to the community of Our Lady of Fatima Church." Agustin Conesa was ordained priest on Saturday, 10 June at Ealing Abbey. Fr Agustin Conesa was born in Spain, and brought up in the Neocatchumenal Way. He has served as Deacon in the parishes of Our Lady of Muswell, Muswell Hill, and at Our Lady and St George's, Enfield, Middlesex. In September 2006 he will become Assistant Priest at Sacred Heart, Ruislip, Middlesex. Richard Nesbitt was ordained deacon on Sunday, 11 June, at Westminster Cathedral. He was received into the Catholic Church in 1994 and entered Allen Hall seminary in 2001. Over the last year he has been working at the Parish of St. John the Evangelist, Islington. Richard will continue at Allen Hall seminary for a further year before being ordained Priest in 2007. Deacon Richard Nesbitt said: "It is both very humbling and very exciting to be ordained to the diaconate. God has shown me and continues to show me that it is only in and with Him that I am able to truly serve Him and serve others. I pray for His continued strength and guidance to help me to serve faithfully as a deacon and, God willing, later as a Priest. What a privilege this is!" Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said: "I am delighted to have ordained three men from Allen Hall this summer - one for the diaconate and two for the priesthood. It is always one of the greatest joys of my ministry as Bishop to celebrate an ordination. I am particularly glad to do so during this, the 50th anniversary year of my own ordination to the priesthood, and to know that many more men are now offering themselves for formation for the priesthood." Latest figures show a continuing increase in the number of men starting their studies for the priesthood in the Diocese of Westminster. In September 2006, ten men will join Allen Hall as seminarians. This figure compares to nine in 2005 and four in 2004. Source: Archbishops House
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