News from Fr Stephen Wang
I’ve got some news to share: Cardinal Vincent Nichols has asked me to become the new Rector of the Venerable English College, which is one of the two English seminaries in Rome. I’m taking over from Mgr Philip Whitmore and I’m due to start in time for the beginning of the new academic year this autumn.
You can imagine my very mixed feelings. On the one hand, I’m heartbroken at the thought of leaving Newman House and the work of university chaplaincy. I arrived here in 2013. These have been the happiest years of my life and I can’t imagine moving on and saying goodbye to everyone. I am full of such gratitude for the people I’ve met and the experiences we have had together.
But on the other hand, I’m enormously excited about taking on this new role. I have a great love for the English College, where I studied for five years, and a love for the priesthood and the important work of formation. I felt very at peace about saying yes to the Cardinal’s request when he first spoke to me, and I really trust that this is the Lord’s will and that it will be a time of blessing.
I’m aware that it creates a bit of uncertainty for Newman House and the wider chaplaincy. My successor has not yet been appointed, but Bishop John Sherrington has assured me that the work of the University Chaplaincies is highly valued by the diocese and that the appointment of my successor as Senior University Chaplain at Newman House is a priority.
I will be here until the end of this academic year, and I have every confidence that a wonderful chaplain will be ready to take over. I’m also have great confidence in the team that we have at Newman House, and in the chaplains and Catholic Societies who are doing such great work in their universities.
Please pray for me, for the chaplaincy, and for the seminarians and staff at the English College. I am praying for you all too!
With best wishes
Fr Stephen Wang