It was only few days before my ordination when I found out that the Cardinal had assigned me to Our Lady of Victories. The Vicar General rung my phone as I was coming back to the presbytery of Our Lady and St Catherine, the parish where I was appointed for my diaconate. “I am happy to tell you, Daniel” – he said – “that the cardinal has appointed you to Our Lady of Victories”. I was indeed very happy and a little surprised too.
Since in writing I don’t have an accent that will give me away I will start confessing that I was born in Burgos, a small city in the north of Spain. I spent most of my teenage years studying hard to get to university to study civil engineering. However, God had a different plan for me. By the time I started A levels I felt very strongly that God was calling me to the priesthood. I struggled with my vocation for a long time but finally I decided to join the seminary and in 2007 I was sent to the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation in London.
I could hardly speak any English then, so I spent the first two years learning it. After that, I was ready to start my philosophical studies at Allen Hall Seminary in Chelsea. In 2011 I left for the Holy Land, where I had a wonderful experience for 10 months, working hard but also visiting the holy places, getting to know many of the places that are connected to the Bible and above all looking to have a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
After my time in Israel, where I felt that God was confirming my vocation to the priesthood, I was sent for two years to have an experience of mission in Madagascar. Again, I found myself in a completely new place where I could hardly communicate. However, I experienced an incredible joy, the one that comes from announcing the Gospel to the most vulnerable and to see its amazing power to change people’s lives. In June 2014 the time came for me to resume my studies so I came back to London.
I was ordained deacon in 2017 and about a year later, the 30th of June 2018, I was ordained priest. Now, I hope, and I pray, that in these years ahead the Lord will give me the grace to be able to announce the Gospel with faith, especially to those that are most in need, and to serve you with all my heart and strength.
Please, remember me in your prayers.
Fr Daniel Herrero Peña.