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Vocations Director Fr Paul Roberts Column

Three young adults share some vocation thoughts

Fr Paul Roberts
Fr Paul Roberts.
By Fr Paul Roberts, Vocation Director for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta

Dear friends,

I remember being 23 and not knowing anyone else who had the same vocation thoughts as me! It was great to finally meet some once I started inquiring. Part of what I do today is to connect people, when the time is right, with others who share their thoughts.

This article is trying to do a bit of that too. If any of it speaks to you, I invite you to give me a call (0419 219 819). Quite confidentially, I can put you in touch with support people in religious life or chat further if you’ve thought of being a priest.

Here’s a short form of some of the responses from three people I asked about their vocation thoughts. I’ve just used pen names for now, particularly as one isn’t quite ready to tell his family he wants to be a priest! I once knew that feeling too.

Name     Age    Keen to become
Daniel    20s     Religious Brother
Samiah  30s     Religious Sister (has begun formation)
Peter     20s     Diocesan Priest

What are some words or phrases that describe you?

Daniel: easy going, open to new experiences, willing to be of service, hard working, good sense of humor.

Peter: happy, passionate, caring, trustworthy.

What speaks to you in your life of faith?

Samiah: God is what (who) most speaks to me; through scripture, community, liturgy, nature, the world around me and the people in my life. Our Congregation’s spirituality calls us to ‘listen with the ear of the heart’ to hear God’s voice in all of life.

Peter: What speaks to me is Jesus’ life and self sacrifice. It keeps making me think about how much I am/we are loved. It keeps bringing me close to God. It keeps me free to live fully, secure in his love.

What is a key influence in your consideration of this vocation?

Daniel: I had a sense of ‘calling’ but thought my life had been too careless to be worthy of such a gift. I had to learn that God calls the imperfect. I had to learn of God’s forgiveness. Another strong influence was that Christ truly asks us to be of service with our lives. We each have a mission to be Christ for others. We each need to find how. As a Brother I can put my experiences and talents into ministry beyond borders and have a religious community with me.

Samiah: It was important for me to get to know several Sisters. I was able to do this while working with them in one of our ministries. And I saw that they were unique, real, not-perfect women, but who were really focussed on something more. I was curious about that ‘more’ and here I am with them. Listening openly to God’s presence I hope to respond with generosity, hope and love.

What do you want for your life in this vocation?

Daniel: I want to be able to constantly grow in my relationship with Christ. And I want to inspire that for people I come into contact with. When I hit 80 and realise that my time on earth is almost done, I want to be able to look back and say: ‘It was a life well lived and a life lived well.’

Peter: I just have a desire to carry the torch the Lord has passed on to us as well as I can. I want to expand my faith and walk in His footsteps. I want to be a ‘mirror’ for others to see God’s love. And I want to be a channel for people to know God’s love through His Word!

What might you say to others thinking of this vocation?

Daniel: Never be afraid to follow Christ. Deciding to become a Brother has got to be the best decision I have made. I can follow my personal gifts/ministry, while being part of a massive family of equality, respect and love. The Brothers encourage and inspire each other plus support each other to improve.

Samiah: Don’t think too much! Listen in prayer and in life to your own heart. Seek out people to help you listen and to support you wherever God calls and however you choose to respond.

Peter: Do not worry. Trust that God that will take care of you in the path you choose. Be happy and keep your heart open for the Lord to come and stay!

Blessings on your life purpose too! Come and join young adults and others at the Cathedral for some prayer/adoration/inspiration on the first Thursday of each month in St Patrick’s Cathedral – further details below.

Cheers, Fr Paul.

Prayer for Our Lives and Purpose

Prayer for Our Lives and Purpose
Photo: Hamilton Lund

A new gathering every 1st Thursday of the month at 7pm:

  • Adoration
  • Inspiration
  • A shared life story with youth/young adults and others

Share a café meal with others at 8pm or go on your way

St Patrick’s Cathedral – Marist Place, Parramatta

Starts Thursday 2 September @ 7pm

For more details contact:

Fr Paul – Vocation Director

tel 0419 219 819,

Fr Suresh – Diocesan Youth Director

tel 02 8838 3419,

Annabelle Cauchi – Youth Office

tel 02 8838 3418,

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