“I’ve got a deep excitement at what lies ahead. I know this is the fulfilment of who I am; I can’t wait to embrace this new identity.” In a few months from now, Matthew Roche-Saunders will be ordained to the Catholic priesthood in Swansea. It will be the culmination of six years of formation, which followed his three years at Exeter University, studying psychology.
Matthew relishes the opportunity to meet and answer my questions. Most of his old schoolfriends aren’t Catholic. He says they find his choice of career “fascinating, curious or confusing”. As he’s watched his university friends find their feet after graduating – and move into careers and spread across the world – he reflects on having spent the last six years living in the same building, St Mary’s College, Oscott, in a Birmingham suburb