As part of our series of posts to start the new college year, one of the new Oscott seminarians, Henry Woodhouse, shares his inspiring story thus far to entering seminary.
My name is Henry Woodhouse. I am 26 years old and although I am new to Oscott, I am in my third year of Seminary. I became a Catholic when I was seventeen years old, when I experienced a profound sense of joy and peace whilst attending a Catholic Mass. After this experience I knew that something great and powerful was present at the Mass, so I started to go to Mass each week and began to understand that it was not something present at Mass, but someone: Jesus. It was this same Jesus who was not only present at Mass but was also calling me to follow Him by living a life of truth and love. I knew in my heart that if I were to truly follow him I would need to be a Catholic, pure and simple; there is no other way to be an authentic follower of Christ than to be a practicing Catholic. So despite the fact that none of my friends were Catholic and I didn’t go to a Catholic school, I was baptised, confirmed and received into the Church. Throughout the rest of my time at School and University I kept on going to Mass and started to pray each day, and regularly going to confession. The more I grew in being a Catholic, the more I prayed and altered my life to be more like Christ’s, the more I had a sense of peace and joy in my life.
I felt called to be priest with the growing awareness of how empty people’s life can be without Christ. I know that following Christ in the Church leads to peace and fulfilment and that without Him there is emptiness and sorrow. I felt called by having a deep desire to help people find the meaning of life and true happiness which come from following Christ. With this deep desire in my heart, I knew Christ was inviting me to be a priest, to proclaim his gospel and to celebrate the sacraments, which bring nourishment, healing, forgiveness and eternal life.