All busy on the priestly vocation front
Three young men have been accepted as seminarians for the Archdiocese next year.
Foliga Etuale, from Samoa, Lourdhu Raju Upputholla, from India, and Mark Ha, from Vietnam, will join current seminarians Deacon Joshua Scott, Namora Anderson, Alexander Osborne and Eden Langlands next year at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Sydney.
Deacon Scott is likely to be ordained to the priesthood next year.
Adrian Chan, a former Carmelite religious brother from Singapore, is in training for the priesthood, and has completed theological studies.
After spending the first half of the year with Fr Michael Lim at St Patrick’s, Bega, he has spent the past six months in pastoral placement in the Gungahlin parish with Fr Mark Croker.
It was a nearly full house at Archbishop’s House dinner table for the November Man Overboard gathering.
Man Overboard is an initiative in which Archbishop Christopher Prowse or Vicar General Fr Tony Percy and other members of clergy spend time in formation and prayer with prospective seminarians.
Fr Paul Nulley who has spent the past three years as an assistant priest at Young, has been appointed vocations director for the Archdiocese.
He will take over the role on January 27 from Fr Emil Milat, the parish priest of West Wyalong mission.
This role comes in addition to his chaplaincy work at Australian National University and his appointment as parish priest of St Joseph’s, O’Connor.
As the new vocations director, Fr Nulley will continue to promote and foster vocations throughout the Archdiocese and will have a hands-on role with Man Overboard.
Each of this year’s seminarians has provided readers with an overview of their year at the seminary.
DEACON JOSHUA SCOTT: Naturally for me being ordained to the diaconate was a beautiful part of the year including the lead-up as well as the aftermath. Living it out, proclaiming the Gospel and being a servant of charity among the people of God has been a blessing. I have also had the consolation of doing pastoral work at Westmead Hospital. There is something special about helping preparing for death and I get great joy in seeing others who have been in care for a long time, get discharged from their wards.
NAMORA ANDERSON: The year, although not differing that much practically from other years, has been one of much joy and surprise. Firstly, there has been much joy in the subjects that I have had the pleasure of studying such as political philosophy with John Haldane, Patristics, and bioethics. The time in the seminary is particularly fruitful for the intellect, which helps inform others, and for our own growth of love for truth, most particularly God.
The stand-out moments at the seminary are those that we all look forward to: ordinations. For me, two of my year group who went to study in Rome had their priestly ordinations in Sydney and although it feels strange being at a different stage to them, it is so encouraging to see the end that we all seek. Especially, when you hear all the good that these new priests have achieved already, it makes the work we do all the more encouraging. Then to have the experience of being in the Archdiocese speaking to the people and priests and seeing the strong joyful desire they have for you to partake in God’s mission is what inspires me to continue with zealous determination. This year I have had the honour of spending time in the parish with Fr Tom Thornton and Fr Paul Nulley on placement out at Young and that increased the realisation of the beauty and great effect the priest has and can do for a world that needs Christ. Furthermore, being able to spend time in Temora and Moruya and seeing great priests in action with people that support and encourage them relaxes me for the duties that await me.
This year has also bought the privilege of taking part in great pastoral works of mercy like when Deacon Josh and I were sent to St John of God Hospital, where we talked and assisted with the Church’s mission to assist those with mental ailments. That enabled us to perceive humanity in a whole new light and be able to be more sympathetic and compassionate to others. After that I was placed in the L’Arche community that has been a great opportunity for me to both assist people with disabilities but more importantly to journey and dialogue with them. Despite some challenges it is a beautiful mission and an illuminating experience.
So for me this year has been one of learning and joy in my vocation and looking forward to next year to finish my studies and return to work in the Archdiocese. I will be in Temora over December experiencing the far west of the Archdiocese and the joy of the farmers.
ALEXANDER OSBORNE: Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about this year is that it has been a significant milestone for me: I have now spent half of my life in Australia, and a quarter of it studying to become a priest. As you can imagine, I’m excited that this year looks to be my second last in formation.
In many ways the first half of this year felt like it was more of the same, I was back in Homebush studying – I now only have eight units left out of about 50, before hopefully attaining my STB – Bachelor of Sacred Theology (both a degree and a description).
I have enjoyed my studies but I will be glad to finish them. Academia is only one part of seminary formation, I spent my Fridays working at St Canice’s soup kitchen in Kings Cross, serving the hungry and poor, which was overall a great experience.
The second half of the year has been exciting. I’ve spent it in the parishes of Batemans Bay and Moruya on parish placement. I like to think of my time here as something of a taste of the future. And, what a busy future it will be.
I’ve been preaching, visiting schools, hospitals, and retirement villages, as well the homes of many parishioners; which has come on top of attending funerals, baptisms and weddings.
The experience of this all, has so far felt very confirming. In particular, I have enjoyed preaching at weekday Masses, especially if classes from either of the primary schools are attending. I’d like to share more with you about my time here, but I know parishioners read this paper and will tease me about it if I do.
Two highlights of my year: one was the recent ordination of Deacon Joshua Scott. After spending six years together with someone preparing for Holy Orders, it is a wonderful thing to see them ordained; the second highlight of my year will be my twin sister Louise’s wedding.
Please keep me in your prayers as I continue on my way towards Holy Orders.
EDEN LANGLANDS: I have just completed my first year of seminary formation. I am very grateful to God for this year. The first year of seminary is what they call the spiritual year, dedicated to deep prayer and reflection on the vocation of priesthood that God could be calling me to, as well as a time to learn more about ourselves and grow in self knowledge. I have met many great people on the same journey and had some great experiences. The year culminates with the 30-day Ignatian Spiritual Exercises retreat which I am looking forward to. It will help to further discern where the Lord is calling me to serve Him.
SERRA CLUB: The Serra Club continues to pray for vocations. Those interested in joining the Canberra-based Serra Club should email firstname.lastname@example.org
MAN OVERBOARD: Takes place on the first Friday evening of every month at Archbishop’s House. To learn more about it go to www.manoverboard.org