Vincent Malone has been ordained as priest for the Diocese of Westminster.
The ordination took place at St Mellitus parish, Tollington Park, north London, on Saturday October 30, and was the first ordination in the parish for over 35 years.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, who celebrated the Mass of ordination, said: “When Pope Benedict XVI visited Britain in September he reminded us how each of us has a vocation from God. Vincent Malone’s vocation is the priesthood. On Saturday he was ordained a priest for service in our diocese.
“At the ordination we celebrated the transferred feast day of the Blessed Martyrs of Douai College.
“The martyrs were 160 priests who trained in France during the Reformation knowing they would return to England and face certain death. Their story provides inspiration to us all as we welcome Vincent into the priesthood.”
Fr Vincent Malone, who was baptised, received his first Holy Communion and was confirmed at St Mellitus, believes it is important to celebrate his ordination in his old parish church.
Speaking before his ordination, he said: “I think it’s important I recognise where my spiritual roots began… The parish can take ownership that this priest has come from within their midst. It shows people that ordinary people can follow the call.”
Before joining the Diocese of Westminster’s seminary, Allen Hall, where he studied for the priesthood, Vincent Malone had a variety of jobs, including solicitor’s clerk, betting shop manager, postroom assistant and courier.
He said: “Gradually year on year the feeling God was calling me kept building. At first I could brush it away, but it kept getting stronger, this thought in my mind. Eventually I got to the point where I said: ‘All right. OK, leave me alone. I’ll do it.’
“The first day I entered the seminary I felt more at peace than any other day in my life. I felt at last I had done the right thing and it’s a moment I will never forget.
“It will continue to remind me that I made the right decision when I finally managed to unite myself to God’s will.”
Canon Thomas Egan, parish priest at Our Lady of Lourdes, New Southgate, where Fr Vincent Malone has assisted as deacon, said: “All the parishioners were very excited and many supported Vincent Malone on the day. He has been a great help in the parish and the parishioners have a great warmth for him.
“They’ve seen many men training for the priesthood in the parish, but many won’t have ever seen an ordination before so it’s great they had the chance to be together for this great celebration of faith.”
The parish of St Mellitus covers the western part of the Finsbury Park area of north London. The parish supports the Cause of the Austrian Blessed Franz Jägerstätter.
Born on May 20 1907, he refused to join the army in 1943 on the ground that Nazism was anti-Catholic and executed at Brandenburg on August 9 1943. He was beatified on October 26 2007 at Linz.