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vocations@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk | Tel: 01329 318 869 

Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocese, UK Registered Charity 246871 

www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk

'BEING A PRIEST IS

FAR MORE FULFILLING THAN I COULD EVER HAVE IMAGINED'

an interview with 

Bishop Philip Egan

What were your misconceptions about Priesthood before discerning it?

I wondered what people would think and whether I would be able to live the life, especially the promise of celibacy.

Who inspired you on your journey?

I had read the life of St. John Vianney and was much inspired by his example. I was also impressed with the holiness of my parish priest at the time.At university, I got to know two priests very well and had lots of discussions with them.

What was your greatest worry when discerning your vocation?

I had to try and work out whether it really was God Who was calling me – or whether it was an illusory idea of my own making. That took a long time to work out.

'I thank God for the sheer variety of tasks I have been entrusted with.'

How is the lived reality of your vocation different to how you had perceived it?

My life is far busier than I ever imagined it would be, and much more broken up into many different matters. Yet being a priest is also far more fulfilling than I could ever have imagined, with the real consolation of God’s presence, especially in Mass and in the Holy Eucharist.

How has living your vocation brought you joy?

The greatest joy for me is the joy of being with the Person of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, really and truly present and active, in the Sacraments, in the Teaching of the Church and in the people I meet, lead and serve.

'Pray - get to know Jesus in the Scriptures and in the Eucharist – and listen to His words to you.'

What have been the highlights of living out your vocation?

I thank God for the sheer variety of tasks I have been entrusted with: as an assistant priest, a university chaplain, hospital ministry, post-graduate studies, teaching and formation work, parish priest and now a bishop.

What would you say to someone else considering the Priesthood?

Pray - get to know Jesus in the Scriptures and in the Eucharist – and listen to His words to you.