For the first time, a Filipino priest has been ordained in the Diocese of East Anglia.
Fr Jaylord Magpuyo was ordained at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich in front of 500 people.
He is the first new priest in the diocese in four years. There are now 12 more seminarians – the highest number in 30 years, the diocese said.
Fr Magpuyo studied for the priesthood in Davao City, in the Philippines, before being invited to transfer to East Anglia, where there is a growing Filipino community. He has two aunts in London and cousins in Cambridgeshire.
Fr Magpuyo has been serving as a deacon in Cambridge. He said many Filipinos work as nurses at the city’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
Fr Pat Cleary, vocations director, said one factor behind the rise in candidates was the priority placed on vocations by Bishop Alan Hopes.
“It’s big on his agenda,” Fr Cleary said. “He remembers each [candidate] by name in his prayers each day.
“When he goes around parishes he knows if there are people thinking about it,” he said. “He makes a point of searching them out and encouraging them.”
In a blog post at rcdea.org.uk, Fr Magpuyo said that as a young teenager he first became interested in the seminary because of its basketball courts. But, he said, from the age of 16 he realised that “God was slowly preparing and forming me to become not an athlete but a servant of His vineyard”.
About 300,000 people from the Philippines are estimated to live in Britain. The number has risen sharply since the early 2000s.
Some Catholics are ‘terrorists in all but name’, says priest
A priest has described Catholics who passionately uphold Church teaching on divorce and contraception as being “terrorists in all but name”.
Mgr Basil Loftus, in his weekly column for the Catholic Times, condemned “single-issue fanatics” who were “exercised about sex and marriage, about maniples and Communion on the tongue, about celibacy of the clergy, about contraception, or about the right to carry loaded firearms in America while attending Mass”. He added: “Their extremist and sometimes violent propensities make them, in all but name, terrorists.”
In his column he compared the “pro-life antics” of Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, chairman of the US bishops’ pro-life-committee, to the approach of Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, who “supported all marginalised people, including the unborn”.
In response to critical letters, Mgr Loftus wrote in the Catholic Times that the thrust of his column was to “oppose the whole concept of prioritisation and preferential focus in the fight against evil”.
He said accusations that he had “disparaged” the sanctity of unborn life were “plain lies”.
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