‘I first encountered the Dominicans when I was still an Anglican, living at Pusey House, next door to Blackfriars, Oxford.’

I first encountered the Dominicans when I was still an Anglican, living at Pusey House, next door to Blackfriars, Oxford.

The first thing which really drew me to the Order was the preaching, and when I finally decided to become a Catholic, I wrote to the priest whose sermon I best remembered! After my reception into the Catholic Church I returned to London for a few years, and began to think about the priesthood.

I looked at the diocesan priesthood and the Benedictines, but eventually settled on the Dominican way of life because of the vows that we make. One of the things which I think had really got in the way of living the Christian life was my attachment to the things I owned and the way that I chose to spend my time. So the life of vowed obedience, chastity, and poverty was the way of life that could make me free.

For some time I lived in the Catholic parish church in the centre of Soho, where I helped with their ministry to the poor and homeless of central London, as well as the various apostolates of the parish. Soho is a place where the Gospel is, as the parish priest says, quite raw. You can see in microcosm a lot of the problems in our modern society, and a lot of the struggles and burdens which people carry.

Living in that place made me realise how important the vocation of preacher is; how important it is that the Gospel is communicated clearly, effectively, and with great love. As I learned more about the Order and its intellectual tradition I found myself drawn more and more to the life of the preacher.