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- Tony Wright, a friend ever since we net at Ushaw, is now a counsellor
- Tony Rattigan, a friend from my time in Sheffield, was a social worker and is now a Dominican priest and friar.
Disinterested commitment to others - what a gift.

What these two people have in common, apart from their Catholicism and a love of God so focused that they were able to hear his call and respond to it by accepting their vocations, is that they were unusually active friends: knowing them gave me positive help. Or is apart from really appropriate? Is it not entirely probable that the strength of their relationship with God simply spills over into their other relationships? I believe so. You may wish to think about it.

Tony Wright

Years after I left Ushaw, years after quite gratefully concluding that my time there had not been wasted, I turned up some poems on yellowing sheets of typescript. Good grief – how miserable I must have been there! Meeting Tony definitely helped keep me sane, helping me shrug off most of the annoyances and puzzles of that strange environment, and I'm not at all surprised that he has since gone on to refine his natural gift for support and understanding by training as a counsellor. He is also a musician and artist, and I admire him profoundly for putting his talents to use so generously.

Tony Rattigan

Sheffield is a place that captures many people – they arrive to study and somehow take root. Tony had arrived from the other side of the Pennines, a border whose significance I shall not attempt to explain, and when I first met him he was a social worker in a home for 'difficult' children. He took me in as a lodger, thus saving me from the unhappiness of a solitary bedsit; may not sound all that drastic, but I could have ended up damaged if I'd been back by myself. Now he's prior of the Dominican house in Leicester. While I truly envied him the chance to study that his novitiate brought, I couldn't now think of following him into ministry.

Dignified whimper

When God gives us gifts, he also gives us the chance to use them; thinking about how to summarise what these two people mean to me left me wondering if I'm not a bit of a drone in comparison. Although I realise I could be doing more, I hope the real answer is No, not entirely.