My placement in Wisbech last July seems like a time both near and remote, which is similar to the overall nature of being here in Rome –close to the heart of the Church, but a long way from home and from the diocese in which I feel called to serve. We received ten new students last September – one from Australia, two Franciscans from Sweden, two from Ireland and one each from the dioceses of Wrexham, Leeds, Portsmouth, Brentwood and, happily, East Anglia – and they are now well acclimatised to the daily routine as we live it here at the Pontifical Beda College.

This year I am editor of the Beda Review, the annual publication of the seminary (previous editions of the magazine are available ONLINE, the site also has general information about the college); the edition which I am preparing will be published in October 2018, but is already generating a lot of work. I am also college infirmarian, meaning that I co-ordinate care for seminarians who fall ill during the year, and along with my Masters studies in bioethics I am kept busy.

But this academic year is really most critical because along with the rest of my year group I have made a formal request for ordination to the transitional diaconate in June, just three months away (typically this is followed by ordination as a priest the following year). Nothing is ever certain until it actually happens, and so I ask for your prayers for myself and my colleagues that we may progress to this milestone. May Lent be a blessed time and lead you into the joys of the Easter season. My prayers are for and with the people of the diocese and the people of Wisbech.