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Rome Reports

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Beda College a seminary for mature vocations

Msgr. Roderick StrangeRector Pontifical Beda College“I remember a religious sister who was a part of this house saying of one student that he was too old to come here. I think he was about 68. She said he’s going to be deserved his seventy years when he’s ordained, doesn’t make sense for him to be that old and later she said how wrong she was.”

The students found their vocation later than usual but that didn’t stop them in their efforts. They show willingness and eagerness to learn.

Msgr. Roderick StrangeRector Pontifical Beda College“They have strength and they have great courage. Many of these men have been significantly successful, some of them very very successful at an early stage in their lives and to come here and start fresh takes great courage.”

Although the seminary remains under the responsibility of the bishops of England and Wales, it receives students from any English-speaking country. The College is currently made up of 17 different nationalities.

Msgr. Roderick StrangeRector Pontifical Beda College“There are fathers and grandfathers here, so they bring an experience of family life of a particular kind and a professional life as well. So it’s a great gift to the Church.”

The minimum age to enter is 30. An age at which Charles, one of the seminarians, had not yet taken steps to priesthood.

Charles MirrellSeminarian Pontifical Beda College“When I was 21 years old I had in the back of my mind that the priesthood was something that I might be called to do and so I put that to the back of my mind for many years, and finally when I was no longer married and my children were older I decided I would pursue that vocation.”

The process of becoming a priest here takes four years, which is less than the usual because the seminarians come to the College with significant knowledge and experience.

Charles MirrellSeminarian Pontifical Beda College“It can be at any age and it’s at all ages. Specifically to be called to the priesthood or the religious life can happen at any time too, not just when you are in your twenties, it can be in your fifties, as I am.”

It’s never too late to join the priesthood and a clear example of this is the Pontifical College in Rome.