Congratulations are due to the Reverend Matthew Roach-Saunders who has become the most recent cleric of the Diocese of Menevia! Having spent the past 5 years in priestly formation at St Mary’s College Oscott, Matthew has been ordained to the Sacred Order of the Diaconate.
Rev. Matthew is a transitional deacon, which means that his ministry
of service as a deacon is not the final part of his journey, but is
the last step on his way to priestly ordination – an ordination which
should take place next year.
Rev. Matthew, 26, comes from St Michael’s Parish at Brecon where he
spent his childhood days. As a young man he moved to Exeter to study
Psychology at the university there and, having graduated, he retuned
to South Wales to answer God’s call to priestly service. It was then
that he became a seminarian of our Diocese.
Rev. Matthew was ordained by the Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most
Rev. Bernard Longley, on the 24th June in the College chapel. Matthew
was not alone either; there were six others who were ordained with him
that day for various dioceses around the country.
Matthew was supported by many family and friends, including Fr Liam
Bradley the Vocations Director of Menevia, and Fr Jimmy Sebastian, the
Parish Priest of Brecon. During the ordination Mass Archbishop Longley
spoke of the rich history of the college, and how it was linked to the
Catholic faith in England and Wales. He noted characters such as
Blessed John Henry Newman and his pastoral zeal. The Archbishop
affirmed how, as new Deacons, the ordained would be part of this
history not just for themselves, but to continue the work of Christ in
today’s world in various contexts in which the new clerics would find
This summer Rev. Matthew will be hard at work in the diocese and also
further afield. Those who are going on the Welsh National Pilgrimage
to Lourdes will have the chance to meet him personally. So too will
parishioners in West Wales when Deacon Matthew gets to work in the
parishes of Haverfordwest and Fishguard.
Rev. Matthew will return to Oscott College later in September when he
will begin his final year. He will be joined by two tother students
for Menevia – Robert Davies of Port Talbot is about to commence his
second year and Gregory Beckett of Haverfordwest will begin his
studies there having just completed a successful propaedeutic year at
the Seminary in Valladolid, Spain.