By Elizabeth Challand - July 24th, 2023 | Posted in News No comments

Our warmest Congratulations and prayers go to our newest Priest, Fr David Bateman, ordained to the Sacred Priesthood by Bishop Philip Egan on Saturday at St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth.

Rev David wrote for the Diocesan Vocations newsletter in June whilst still a Seminarian: “Where does time go? Six years ago, I started seminary at St Mary’s College Oscott, in Birmingham. Every moment in my life has been leading up to my ordination to the priesthood because that is my vocation, to be a priest. However, like with most journeys throughout people’s lives, I have experienced challenges and sometimes doubt in my calling. Even in these difficult moments I thank God for them because it has only enriched my experience here in seminary and strengthened my belief in God’s calling. People often ask, “how do you know God wants you to be a priest?” Quite simply the moment the thought popped into my head I could think of nothing else other than to be a priest.

All the people in my life who have influenced this calling, all the situations I found myself in, like being a builder for six years, have all pointed to being a priest. I have had good friends, good priests in my life but the people I am most grateful for are my family. I lost my Dad at a young age, this led me to going to church. My family have stuck by me throughout my whole journey. In prayer, the words of our Lord often come back to me, “not my will but yours be done” (Lk 22, 42). There came a point in my life which, I can’t pinpoint, that allowed me to repeat these words of Jesus himself. At some point we all need to let go and allow God’s will to work within us. I have loved my time in seminary and I ask that support may continue through prayer and encouragement. Seminary is coming to an end for me now but I know that new and exciting challenges wait for me so please continue to pray for me.”

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Father David celebrated his first Mass on Sunday at the 10am service at the Cathedral. We remember Father David, his family, and friends in our prayers at this joyous time.

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