Bishop Richard ordained Nicholas Harden to the priesthood during Mass at Arundel Cathedral on Saturday 2 July. The Mass, which was also livestreamed, was attended by people across the Diocese, and concelebrated by 54 diocesan priests.
Fr Nick grew up in Hampshire, attending Salesian College in Farnborough. It was during this time that his relationship with the Church deepened and he began actively participating in the life of his local parish, initially as a chorister and then as an altar server. Speaking about his decision to join the seminary Fr Nick said:
“Following six years studying chemistry at university and three years of academic research, I spent twelve happy years teaching in secondary schools. I think my priestly vocation existed from early in childhood, but as life progressed and things were going well I was very successful in ignoring the call - I did eventually listen and respond”.
Speaking during his homily, Bishop Richard said:
“Nicholas, the Lord has placed His confidence in you to be His in a very particular way, to preach His Word, and be His presence and His instrument in the celebration of the Eucharist through your ministry. Know that you have the support and the prayers of everyone gathered here, of those joining us by livestream, and of the communities you have served during your placements. May the Lord continue to bless you in the days that lie ahead.”
Speaking after the Ordination Mass Fr Nick said:
“Throughout my time in formation, there have been numerous overpowering experiences of being touched by God’s grace. It is a deeply moving and fulfilling privilege to accompany people on their spiritual journey through life, both in the highs and the lows, and it is this that excites me about priesthood.”
Fr Nick has been appointed as Assistant Priest at St Dunstan’s Catholic Church in Woking. Please keep Fr Nick, and all our priests, in your prayers:
Lord our God, who in governing your people make use of the ministry of Priests,
grant a persevering obedience to your willto this Deacon of your Church,
whom you graciously choose todayfor the office of the priesthood,
so that by his ministry and lifehe may gain glory for you in Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,God, for ever and ever.