Westminster welcomes two new priests

 Westminster Cathedral was full to capacity for the ordination of two new priests on Saturday. Allen Hall students, Rev Thevakingsley Arulananthem and Rev Edward Houghton were ordained by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster at the special Mass concelebrated with more than 50 priests from the Diocese. The music was sung by Westminster Cathedral Special Choir. Afterwards there were receptions at Westminster Cathedral hall and Allen Hall.

Fr Chris Vipers, Vocations Director for the Diocese of Westminster said: "Fr Edward and Fr Kingsley are a great gift to the Church here in Westminster. They are generous and loving men with the courage and compassion that every priest needs. We are truly blessed to have them." "The ordination of a new priest is always a tremendous moment of thanksgiving and celebration for him, his family and friends and for the whole Diocese. The ordination of two new priests, with three more on the way later this year, is a moment for us all to thank God for the gift of the priesthood and of the priests who are there for us throughout our lives, and to pray that even more young men will hear and respond to the gracious calling of the Lord."

Fr Houghton was born in Preston and prior to studying for the priesthood worked as an English and Religious Education teacher at St Charles Sixth Form College in Ladbroke Grove. In September 2008 he will become an assistant priest in Chiswick. He already knows the parish priest, Fr Anthony Dwyer, as Fr Anthony is currently the vice Rector at Allen Hall, but will become parish priest at Chiswick in September. Fr Houghton said: "I am just very happy to be ordained and to join the Diocese of Westminster. I am delighted to be starting my ministry and looking forward to being a priest in the Diocese."

Fr Kingsley is from Sri Lanka and prior to studying for the priesthood was at university and then worked in a bank in Sri Lanka for four years. This month he will become an assistant priest at the Cathedral. Fr Kingsley said: "In one sense I feel unworthy for this ministry, but then I feel God's grace calling me to this great ministry. For me it is a great gift from God. I am looking forward to the next step; working in the Cathedral." Fr Kingsley celebrated his first Mass yesterday at the Church of Our Lady of Fatima in White City. Fr Ed's first Mass took place yesterday morning at the Cathedral. For more information on Allen Hall, Westminster's Diocesan Seminary, see: www.allenhall.org.uk/www.allenhall.org.uk/

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