Three new seminarians for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta
Three new seminarians for the Diocese of Parramatta
Three new men joined Parramatta’s Holy Spirit Seminary during February, with a view to the priesthood for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.
|John, Thomas and Charles have entered Parramatta's Holy Spirit Seminary where they will continue to discern their vocation to priesthood.|
You might even like to jot down their names - Charles, John and Thomas - and regularly offer some prayer for their progress and formation.
Both Charles and Thomas have already completed some years of formation for the priesthood in their respective countries of origin – Nigeria and Vietnam. When Charles came to Australia, he did so as a response to feeling called to a foreign land. He was in very good standing in his seminary at home but learned of the shortage of priests in Western countries. Appreciative of the missionary priests who came to his own homeland, Charles began to discern this call. After a time of visiting Australia, studying in South Australia and learning of the various regions, he chose to make contact with our Diocese and to enter into a discernment process with us. This led to his application and acceptance into Parramatta’s Holy Spirit Seminary program. Charles is the youngest of eight children in his family.
Thomas is the youngest of nine children in his family from central Vietnam. Here is a case of vocation discernment in the electronic age! My first series of discussions and discernment activities with him was via the internet, through which he had made his initial contact. Our vocations committee judged Thomas’s reasons to be seeking to continue his vocational journey in another country to be sound and very positive. His own Archbishop in Vietnam backed this judgement fully. As well as having been a seminarian in Vietnam, Thomas has worked professionally as a legal consultant, guiding Vietnamese people seeking academic and business ventures in Australia. Hence, his knowledge of Australia is very advanced! It was most fortunate that part of his “offshore discernment” could be done personally, with the visit to Thomas by one of our Diocese’s priests, Fr Henry Duc, in his own country and culture of origin, Vietnam.
While John, our other new seminarian, was born in Malta, he has lived on Aussie soil since he was a baby. He is a local of the Diocese, coming from Quakers Hill and an ex-student of Patrician Brothers’ College, Blacktown. John is the second eldest of nine children. It’s quite amazing that among the three families of our new seminarians there are 26 children! John has been working in catering/hospitality and generally establishing himself in the early post-HSC years. His first, independent overseas travels not so long ago confirmed for him the sense of calling towards the vocation of priesthood.
John enjoys a bit of “culinary creating” and if you want to know anything about growing fresh chillies, he is your source. Please include these fine men of faith and friendship by name at the dinner table from time to time as they seek to serve the Lord through the people, families and communities of our Diocese. We certainly have cause for thanksgiving.
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