St Mary’s College, Oscott welcomes new Rector

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The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, has appointed Fr Michael Dolman as the new Rector of St Mary’s College, Oscott.

St Mary’s College, Oscott, the seminary of the Archdiocese of Birmingham forms men for the priesthood from 15 dioceses in England, Wales and Scotland, as well as Religious Congregations. It also prepares men for ministry as permanent deacons for five dioceses.

Fr Dolman, the current Vocations Director and Director of Ongoing Formation of Clergy for the Archdiocese of Birmingham, will take up his appointment on Thursday 1 July 2021.

He takes over from Acting Rector Fr Paul Keane, who took the helm following the death of former Rector, Canon Giles Goward, in January.

Fr Dolman said: “It has been both a surprise and an honour to be asked by Archbishop Bernard Longley to become the next Rector of St Mary’s College, Oscott.

“While being humbled by this call, I am reassured by the encouragement Archbishop Bernard has given to me and the confidence he has placed in me.

“Oscott is my alma mater and is dear to my heart as the place where I discerned my vocation to the priesthood and received my initial formation.

“As Vocations Director, in the work of accompanying men who are discerning a vocation to the priesthood, I have been blessed to have had the generous support of Oscott’s Rectors: the then Canon, now Bishop David Oakley, Canon Giles Goward (RIP), and the Acting Rector, Fr Paul Keane.

“Together with the staff and seminarians, they have always offered invaluable cooperation and a community of faith where the priesthood of Jesus Christ is made tangible for discerners.

“As a trustee of the College, I have come to know the great calibre and commitment of all those who work to develop the College’s life and mission and this gives me confidence and expectant hope as I look forward to this new responsibility.

“The accompaniment and formation of men for the priesthood and the permanent diaconate is a privileged task and during my four years as Vocations Director I have been greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm and dedication of men who come forward to discern their vocation and of those who have gone on to become seminarians for the diocese.

“The work of formation is constantly developing and although our times present particular challenges for the formation of priests, we are confident in our appreciation of the unchanging heart of the Catholic priesthood.

“As our future priests prepare to engage with an ever-changing culture, it is the aim of seminary formation to enable them to live out their ministry in fruitful service of their fellow disciples – in fraternity, freedom and joy.

“Please do pray for me – and for the community at Oscott! In this year of St Joseph and mindful of our College’s dedication to Mary, I acknowledge their vocation to nurture Jesus in his life as ‘The Priest’.

“Inspired by this image of the Holy Family, I entrust myself and our community to their powerful intercession, as together we undertake this important work.”

Archbishop Bernard Longley said:

“I wish to thank Fr Michael Dolman for readily accepting this appointment and for his willingness to serve the Church’s work of formation at Oscott.

“Fr Michael’s experience within the Diocesan Education Service, as Vocations Director and with the Ongoing Formation of Clergy enables him to bring a wide range of gifts to the Seminary.

“I know that Fr Michael’s new colleagues on the staff and all the seminarians at Oscott will welcome him as a seasoned, effective and wise pastor to his new apostolate.

“I would also like to thank Fr Paul Keane for his considerate and generous pastoral guidance of the Seminary community as Acting Rector since the death of Canon Giles.

“Please keep Fr Michael in your prayers as he prepares to take up his new responsibilities at the beginning of July.”

Fr Michael was ordained Priest on 13 July 2002 at St Michael’s Catholic Church, Wolverhampton.