Diocese of East Anglia’s Alive in Faith appeal helps fund Buckfast monk’s priestly training

Through the Diocese of East Anglia’s Alive in Faith appeal, the Suffolk parishes of Beccles and Bungay have contributed towards the priestly training of Dom John George, who was ordained in September.

Dom John George is the youngest member of the monastic community to which Dom Martin Gowman OSB from St Benet’s in Beccles belongs. His community, now known as St Gregory the Great, was formerly at Downside Abbey and now resides at Buckfast. The fund to which Beccles and Bungay contributed is called the Downside Abbey Ecclesiastical Education Fund.

Dom John was ordained in Buckfast Abbey together with Dom Andrew Prickett OSB, a monk of Buckfast, by Archbishop George Stack.

Dom John entered the monastery at Downside in 2015 and made his solemn life vows of obedience, stability and conversatio morum in 2019. Studies for ordination take place partly in the monastery, but Dom John also studied at Oscott College, Blackfriars in Oxford and latterly at the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo in Rome, where he is now in his final year, studying for a Licence degree in Monastic Theology.

Benedictine priests are sometimes involved in parish work, but principally in the life of their monastery, where they minister to guests and other visitors. At Buckfast Abbey they are available to speak with, offer guidance to and offer the sacraments to many thousands of visitors who come each year.

Pictured are (left to right) Abbot David Charlesworth of Buckfast, Dom Andrew Prickett OSB, Archbishop George Stack, Dom John George OSB and Abbot Nicholas Wetz of St Gregory’s.