'It is not for the timid, it is not a place to hide from problems or from responsibilities we might otherwise have in the ‘real world’. But I feel it is something I am called to do.'

I first met the Dominican Order when I studied Environmental protection at the university of Strathclyde in Glasgow. At that time, the Order had an established house in Glasgow. I got to know the Order as part of a process of discerning a calling to be a priest, and through the chaplaincy at the University of Strathclyde which is served by a Dominican.

While at University, I studied for 5 years in the department of civil engineering, and then went on to work briefly in politics, even stood as a parliamentary candidate in a Westminster by-election. Then after that, I got a job in an energy agency in the west highlands of Scotland in Oban.

My choice to join the Dominicans was one of setting a trajectory of serving the needs of the Church in a global sense. I had also considered joining a diocese, which perhaps sets a trajectory of serving the needs of a specific area, and this also has its strengths over our structure.

My journey to the Dominican order is one where I found the common life appealing- that is living with other friars of the province who support each other and pray together. Our preaching mission has a solid academic training at its foundation, and I suppose in making my decision to join the Dominicans was based on the academic opportunities which the Order fosters.

But studying is not the only thing our life involves.

At the moment, I am an assistant priest in Leicester where I have been since July 2019. In my priestly ministry in Leicester and I am prison chaplain in HMP Leicester. I am also bursar, where I have used some of my background in engineering to project manage the regeneration of our hall facilities known as the Frassati Centre. It has been hard at times to fulfil these aspects of our mission, and nobody should be under the impression that our life is an easy one. It has been said that our life is one of the most difficult of the religious orders.

The Dominican way is a tough one, but ultimately it is one which is rewarding, and I hope one which brings a good harvest in due time. It is not for the timid, it is not a place to hide from problems or from responsibilities we might otherwise have in the ‘real world’. But I feel it is something I am called to do, with God’s help and the help of my superiors.