As part of our series of posts to start the new college year, one of the new Oscott seminarians, Christopher Morris, shares his inspiring story thus far to entering seminary.
A great blessing for me was growing up in a committed, catholic family attending a vibrant and happy parish community- St Bride’s, Cambuslang, within the Diocese of Motherwell. It was there I learned from so many faithful and committed people- laity and priests- the joy of the Gospel. At 21, I began studies for the priesthood at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. While in the eternal city, I was able to meet many people from different countries, and appreciate the universality of our faith, expressed in the many cultures around the world.
Of all my experiences in Italy, the most profound was being present in St Peter’s Square to see the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, then subsequently to follow his papacy as he gave witness to the Resurrection so eloquently in his words and gestures.
There are one or two fine restaurants too. Four years of pasta and pizza having taken their toll, I returned to Scotland and trained as a teacher, working in a few Catholic schools in and around Glasgow. For 6 years, I worked in St Saviour’s Primary, in the Govan area of the city (known to many as home of Rab C. Nesbitt- though I was better known for always being seen in a suit and tie, than a string vest!) As a teacher, I had the great grace to experience what Pope Benedict described in his inauguration homily: “There is nothing more beautiful than to know [Christ] and to speak to others of our friendship with Him…it is beautiful and wonderful because it is truly a service to joy, to God’s joy which longs to break into the world.”
In those happy and fulfilling moments as a teacher, I still felt a vocation to offer my life in deeper service to the Lord and His Church. I recognised the need for men to respond generously where a call is heard. Working with children and families made me realise the need to share the truth of our existence that ‘each of us us willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.’