The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

From Beda to Bradford

Philip Thornley is currently studying for the priesthood at the Beda College in Rome. Earlier this year he was admitted to the ministry of Acolyte as he continues his journey towards ordination for the Diocese of Leeds. Our picture shows Philip at the ceremony in the chapel of the Beda College with the Rector, Canon Philip Gillespie.

As well as the academic studies he is following in Rome, Philip is also undertaking a pastoral placement in Bradford during the summer vacation. He is based in the parish of Mary Mother of God and is working across the two churches in the parish, St Winefride’s at Wibsey and St John’s, Buttershaw, under the guidance of parish priest, Mgr Paul Grogan.

It is on placements like this that our seminarians learn more about the pastoral and practical aspects of life as a diocesan priest and this experience forms an important part of their training. As Philip himself says:

While in the seminary, we spend quite a lot of time in the classroom – it can seem quite theoretical, so an important part of the year is my pastoral placement in the diocese. This is a bit like work experience. This is the time when I live alongside one of the parish priests of the diocese and do as much of what they do as possible, shadowing them and seeing how they fulfil their ministry, receiving advice and guidance from them. Last Summer I found that it was an important time in helping me to get an insight into how God is leading me. This Summer my placement will be with Monsignor Paul Grogan in the parish of Our Lady Mother of God in Bradford. I am looking forward to it. During the four weeks of the placement, I will try to keep a daily video diary so that I can share something each day of what I am doing.

The video diary is being uploaded to a special page on the Diocesan website and the videos can be viewed by following this link: