Western Sydney’s newest priests reflect on their first year in ministry
On 30 November 2018, the Catholic Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains was blessed with the ordination of four new priests.
Fr Galbert Albino, Fr Jessie Balorio, Fr Christopher del Rosario and Fr Jack Green were ordained as priests for the Diocese of Parramatta by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, on the Feast of St Andrew.
One year on from their ordination, Catholic Outlook spoke to the new priests about what they have learnt and enjoyed in their first year in ministry.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Fr Jessie Balorio was not available for an interview.
Fr Jack Green, priest at Mary, Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown
Catholic Outlook: How has your parish placement been?
Fr Jack Green: It has been a real blessing and grace. Blacktown is a great place to be, particularly as a young priest.
CO: What has been a highlight of your first year as a priest?
JG: Other than saying Mass, I think the real highlight of my year as a priest has been hearing confessions. I am always humbled by people’s confessions and have the awesome privilege of witnessing the grace of Christ work in their conversions.
CO: How have you got through the challenges that you might have faced in your first year as a priest?
JG: Well, I would not be in this vocation if it were not for the grace of God and so I would not be able to handle all of its challenges without His grace, so prayer and the sacraments have been the primary way of negotiating the challenges as a priest. But there are many other things too. I speak to my spiritual director regularly and also seek the advice of some trusted wise friends. I also exercise regularly and make sure I see my family – it keeps me grounded, I hope. And, of course, I cannot forget one of God’s greatest gifts: coffee.
CO: How has it felt being able to celebrate and consecrate the Eucharist?
JG: Indescribable. I really can’t describe what it is like to stand at the altar and say those words of Jesus and bring Him to the altar. All I can say is that it is not what I expected. I thought I would be an emotional mess – which for those who know me well might seem hard to believe. But it simply seems right. It fits. It feels like I am doing what I was born to do.
CO: You said in an interview with Catholic Outlook before your ordination that you wanted to give your whole life to Christ so “that he could be known and loved by others”. How have you done this through your ministry?
JG: I hope I have done this by faithfully celebrating His sacraments and faithfully preaching His word, and by witnessing that I do know Him and I do love Him. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but if I try every day to hand on to others what I have received – the love of Jesus Christ – then I think they will come in their own life to know and love him.
CO: What do you hope your second year of being a priest brings?
JG: I hope I can remain faithful to the promises I made on the day of my ordination and to the sacrament I received that day. I hope too that, with the grace of God, I keep trying to be a better priest every day.
To read Catholic Outlook’s interview with Fr Christopher del Rosario, click here.
To read Catholic Outlook’s interview with Fr Galbert Albino, click here.
VIEW: Images from the ordinations here or below.