Priestly Vocations

A priest is a man who offers his whole humanity to God, so that God might use him as an instrument of salvation.

Pope St John Paul II

The Priestly Vocations Team

Canon Gerard Flynn

Canon Flynn is the Vocations Director for our Diocese. He is responsible for all of the young men currently in formation for the priesthood and those who have moved beyond first enquiries.

Fr John Cooke

Fr John Cooke is the Vocations Promoter for our Diocese. If you are wondering whether the priestly vocation is for you, send him an email and he will get back to you as soon as possible! 

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Who is the Priest?

The mission of a priest is to stand in the local community as the “Icon of Christ”, serving their particular needs and proclaiming the Gospel. 

Those called to the diocesan priesthood are usually attracted to the vocation through a desire to serve the People of God in the local parish, The Priest makes Christ present to them in the Sacraments of the Church.

About the Priesthood

Early in the process of discernment, it is helpful to begin to read more broadly about the Priesthood and what it entails. Three books which are recommended to all Portsmouth Seminarians are:

To Save a thousand Souls

by Fr Brett A. Brannen


To Save a Thousand Souls is a guide for men considering the priesthood. Many regard it as the standard “catechism for discernment,” with Bishop Barron calling is a “classic of the genre." 

Generations of Priests

by Thomas McGovern


This book illustrates the richness of the Catholic priesthood by reference to the lives of ten men who, at different stages in history, committed themselves fully to follow Christ as laborers in His vineyard.

The Priest is not His Own

by Ven. Fulton J Sheen

Priest is not his own.jpg

Archbishop Sheen's writing on the High Priesthood of Christ shared by his Priests, in which the priest both offers the sacrifice and is the sacrifice which is offered.

Meet Our Seminarians

Each of our current seminarians came to us at a different point in his life, and they all have very different experiences from each other.