The Growing in Holiness article series shares the stories of Catholics in the Diocese of Parramatta who are striving to grow in holiness through the means provided by the heritage of the Catholic Church.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 2013: “All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.” (LG 40 § 2) All are called to holiness: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48)
Jacob Munday is a proud ‘Westie’ from Penrith, as Aussie as they come. When not working in student recruitment or studying for his MBA he enjoys catching up with people at a club or pub and having deep chats.
He is part of a group of men that meet each month with the plan to discuss and learn more about the human virtues and how they can be practiced in everyday life. A virtue is a habit that pertains to a particular good. The most important natural virtues are prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance.
“Some people may find it strange that we chat about temperance in a pub while drinking a beer, however we find it most appropriate to discuss moderation in this setting for this is where it could be practiced. We aim to be men of common sense!”
“Each time we meet, a different virtue is focused on and reflected upon in an informal and lay way. The text used is the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the groups are guided by a wise man by the name of Prof. Tony Shannon,” Jacob said.
Professor Tony Shannon is a retired education professional who was awarded an OAM for his services to education, and is a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher. He most recently served as Registrar of Campion College Australia.
Jacob had positive experiences as a student at St Mary MacKillop Primary School, South Penrith and St Dominic’s College, Kingswood. The values he learned there started him on a lifelong journey in pursuit of becoming a better man.
“I was blessed to attend St Dominic’s College where the right foundations of character were placed down for me and genuine care for the individual was shown. The Christian values taught at Dom’s have greatly influenced my choices in life,” he said.
His childhood spiritual home was St Nicholas of Myra Parish, Penrith.
“The Church’s name ‘Catholic’ should not be an idle title, for all things ‘human’ are our concern,” he emphasised.
“Reflecting upon the human virtues has made me realise the source of my actions; being through free will and intelligence.
“I’m a firm believer that human virtues are the common bond of mankind. Our group has men from all walks of life, some are churchgoers and some are not but we all meet under the inspiration of Matthew 18:20 and that to me is very special.
“In our get-togethers, we are reminded to develop and sustain virtues which should be lived out in everyday life, from this, I feel encouraged to give the best of myself,” Jacob said.
It’s clear that Jacob sees being a man of character as someone who serves others and puts those around him at ease. His firm handshake and ever-present smile reflect this gentlemanly demeanour.
If he had to give some parting words of wisdom for young adult Catholics in western Sydney, it would be: “Look after your mates, be with them and understand where they’re at in life.”