As part of our series of posts to start the new college year, one of the new Oscott seminarians, Darren Jones, shares his inspiring story thus far to entering seminary.
Hello from St Mary’s College Oscott. My name is Darren Jones, a fifth year seminarian studying for the Diocese of Leeds. Although, I am new to Oscott I’ve spent a number of years in formation previously for the Diocesan Priesthood, and so I am returning to seminary here at St Mary’s to complete my studies.
I am a native Yorkshire man and what might be termed a ‘late vocation,’ having a professional, vocational background in healthcare within the NHS for twenty-five years as a senior practitioner and clinical manager in the fields of Hepato-Pancreatico-Biliary surgery and adult and paediatric organ transplantation.
I am also a convert to the Catholic faith from the Anglican Communion, although not a recent one, having been received some twenty-nine years ago as a young man. I have now happily spent more of my life as a committed Catholic than not, and it is a great source of inspiration to me here to know that Blessed John Henry Newman knew this building, walked its corridors and preached from the pulpit in our college chapel. So, in a very real sense we have Blessed John Henry here with us as a spiritual guide and teacher.
The College is dedicated to Our Lady; under the title Seat of Wisdom, and so we have a real sense of her motherly care and protection as she shows us the way to follow her son more closely, as we prepare to be sent out as ‘missionary disciples’ to proclaim the ‘Good News’ of salvation and serve the People of God.
Laudetur Iesus Christus!