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Paschal Uche, the young Catholic who greeted Benedict XVI in Britain, to train for priesthood

By on Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Paschal Uche (second left) welcomes Pope Benedict XVI, on behalf of Britain's young people, as the Pope sit on the steps of Westminster Cathedral, in central London, after celebrating Mass (Photo: PA)

Paschal Uche (second left) welcomes Pope Benedict XVI, on behalf of Britain's young people, as the Pope sit on the steps of Westminster Cathedral, in central London, after celebrating Mass (Photo: PA)

The student who greeted Benedict XVI on behalf of young people during the papal visit to Britain is to begin training for the priesthood.

Paschal Uche, 23, who addressed the Pope outside Westminster Cathedral in front of thousands of cheering youths in 2010, has been accepted for seminary training by Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood.

Mr Uche’s address visibly moved Benedict XVI and was one of the most memorable moments of the four-day state visit.

After Benedict XVI’s resignation in February Mr Uche appeared on Channel 4 News, defending the Church’s record on Aids in Africa.

Mr Uche said that he first had the idea of becoming a priest at the age of 16 when he was praying and saw a vivid image of himself wearing vestments.

Although he put the idea to the back of his mind and spent the rest of his teens and early twenties “trying to serve God in other ways”, during the last two years he came to the decision to enter the priesthood.

“I will starting my training next year and I am really excited about beginning this journey, following God in what he’s calling me to do,” said Mr Uche.

“I have had some great support from the people in my local parish and am feeling pretty good about everything right now.”