The Diocese of Parramatta has welcomed three new young men on their vocational journey to the priesthood.
Menard Gaspi, Patrick Laurente and Victor Atuhura were welcomed into the Holy Spirit Seminary, Harris Park, during a Mass on 21 February to celebrate the commencement of the 2021 Seminary’s academic year.
Patrick is a local, hailing from St Aidan’s Parish, Rooty Hill and Menard is from the Archdiocese of Sydney. Victor, who originally studied in Uganda, joins the Seminary via the Diocese of Armidale and Vianney College, the Seminary of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga.
Referencing the readings of the day, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, explained that Lent can provide us with a time of deep discernment and courageous response. He compared these to the steps the young men from the Seminary have undertaken in their response to God’s call.
Bishop Vincent called for prayer to support the seminarians as future leaders, saying we all have a part to play in nurturing priestly vocations and the role the seminarians play in stewardship of faith communities.
“Priestly vocations are nurtured and formed in the womb of the family, the womb of the seminary, but also the womb of the larger Catholic community here in the Diocese,” he said.
“We all have a part to play, we all have a mothering role to play, indeed, in this process, to contribute to the formation and growth of these young men into those stewards and nurturers of God’s alternative community of faith, hope and love, even in the midst of the moral, political and environmental wreckage.
“Let us pray, then, that we may grow through chaos and uncertainty in order to be more aligned with God’s purpose in our attitude and behaviour,” Bishop Vincent said.
Concelebrating with Bishop Vincent were Fr Peter Williams, Vicar General and Moderator for the Curia, Fr John Hogan, Rector of the Seminary, Fr Pawel Barszczewski OP, Spiritual Director of the Seminary, Fr John Paul Escarlan, Director of Vocations: Priesthood for the Diocese of Parramatta, and Fr Robert Riedling, the newly-appointed Administrator and Dean of the Cathedral.
The three men join their ten brothers in Christ in formation at the Holy Spirit Seminary, completing their first year of studies in-house.
The Holy Spirit Seminary and various religious congregations in the Diocese of Parramatta regularly hold Holy Hours for Vocations throughout the year, which allows young people to pray, listen and ask to what God is calling them to be.
We continue to pray for vocations across the Diocese and that young people have courage to listen and take up God’s call.
To find out more about a vocation to the priesthood in the Diocese of Parramatta, visit www.parracatholic.org/seminary, contact the Holy Spirit Seminary or the Director of Vocations: Priesthood, Fr John Paul Escarlan on firstname.lastname@example.org
View images from the Opening Mass of the Seminary’s academic year here or below.