Michael Ashworth SJ
Michael Ashworth SJ

Michael Ashworth SJ

 Let me tell you about the first thirty seven years of my Jesuit life. Even before then I must tell you about my life before being a Jesuit: the first ten years of my life my English family were living in a mining village in Lanarkshire. Then my family moved to South London and I went to Wimbledon College. I studied theology at King's College London.

In 1976 I went to the noviceship and felt I had come home.  I did regency in the parish in Worcester and then did more theology in Cambridge Massachusetts.

I was ordained in 1985 and a year later was sent to be the Parish Priest in St Francis Xavier in Liverpool. At that time there was around one hundred and eighty coming to mass on Sunday and I found myself taken up with these hundred and eighty and the different up's and down's of life for all those living in the neighbourhood of the parish.

Tertianship in the Philippines in 1992 was followed by eight years in the parish of St Ignatius Stamford Hill. A short sabbatical in Berkeley was followed by five years in the parish in Brixton. So up to then I had always worked in the Inner City and enjoyed involvement in both parish and community projects. Living in those parishes I so often felt my vocation to lead people closer to Christ confirmed.  From 2005 I was on the parish staff  in Wimbledon. At that time I grew interested in getting parents and other adults together in small groups to share faith.

2013 was the thirty seventh year of my Jesuit life and in March of that year I had a kidney transplant, after three years on the waiting list and on dialysis for a year. I see my life after the kidney transplant as a new era. The recuperation has been slow and at the moment I am living at Mount St and attending the transplant clinic at St George's Hospital Tooting while awaiting a more permanent appointment.

The cartoon was done by the best man at a wedding at which I officiated in Wimbledon.