It is unfortunate that I arrived in Bishop’s Stortford just a week before the national lockdown kicked in. It meant that I got the chance to meet just a few of the parishioners before, once again, we were told to “stay at home and save lives”. But I can at least introduce myself now in the newsletter and on the website.
My name is Fr Antonio Pineda, born a Filipino and bred a Londoner. I moved from the Philippines to England when I was very young and I did most of my “growing up” in Greenford, west London. I had a sense of being called to the priesthood from a very young age but, because I wanted to experience the world first, I did not think seriously about applying to enter seminary until I was in my late 30s. I was sent to Rome for my priestly training and I was there for seven years. I was ordained in July 2018 in my home parish of St George’s Church in Sudbury, Wembley. My first parish assignment was Borehamwood where I stayed for two years until Cardinal Vincent sent me here in your lovely parish in Bishop’s Stortford.
When I am not doing priestly things like praying or celebrating Mass, I turn to my hobbies to keep me inspired. These include books, both reading and collecting them. I am particularly into the classics and fantasy fiction. I like to escape to Narnia and Middle-Earth now and again! I also love IT. I enjoy using technology to make life easier and/or more enjoyable. I love being creative with my computer by designing websites and publications as well as editing photos and videos.
Before entering seminary, I had media related jobs including a communications officer for the Royal College of Nursing and a website editor for Brunel University.
I am very much looking forward to getting to know all of you and serving the parish. Please be assured of my prayers and I ask that you pray for me too as I begin my ministry in Bishop’s Stortford.