Three former pupils of the same school have been ordained priests this year. All three attended the John Fisher school in Purley, near Croydon.
Fr Matthew O’Gorman and Fr Mark Higgins were ordained by Archbishop Peter Smith last Saturday in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark.
They both celebrated their first Masses on Sunday in the chapel at John Fisher school, one after the other.
Fr Matthew’s home parish was St Elphege’s, Wallington, Surrey. After graduating from university he joined the pro-life charity Life, going into schools to speak to teenagers about abortion and euthanasia.
“It was the experience of teaching young people that triggered thoughts about being called to priesthood: I had a desire to communicate more than some of the key moral teachings of the faith,” he said.
He trained at the English College in Rome. He will be an assistant priest in Purley, the parish where his former school is.
Fr Mark, from Holy Cross parish, Carshalton, Surrey, read Politics at Warwick University, graduating in 2007. He spent a year in Spain before going to St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, where he was ordained deacon in December.
“One of the people who made an impression on us was Fr Richard Fawssett. He offered Mass prayerfully every day,” he said. Fr Mark was also influenced by the Faith Movement in the school, and by other boys in his year encouraging him to go to Mass and on retreat. He first thought about joining the priesthood when he was 19.
“It was when I was at university and got involved with trying to share my faith with others,” he said. He will serve at St Andrew’s Church, Thornton Heath, Croydon.
Fr James Cadman, also a former pupil at John Fisher school, was ordained at the end of May in St Mary’s Church, West Croydon, by Bishop Precioso Cantillas of Maasin in the Philippines. He is to join the Maasin diocese.
The John Fisher Choir took part in Fr James’s Mass of Ordination, with traditional Latin chants and plainsong.