The Ordination to the Diaconate of Jack Green will take place on 2 June 2018 at Sacred Heart Church, Westmead.
Jack spoke to Catholic Outlook about his upcoming ordination, reflecting on his life, the positive influence of his family and his vocation story.
Catholic Outlook: Why did you decide to become a priest?
Jack Green: One’s motives and ideas are often mixed at the beginning of one’s discernment. This was no different in my case. Yet over time they are, hopefully, clarified or purified and this has been true in my case.
Yet I think what has been consistent throughout my time leading up to joining the seminary through seminary training to today has been a desire to give my whole life to Jesus Christ that he may be known and loved by all, and a strong sense that my fulfilment depends on that. This desire has found a constant accord in me with the life of a priest, the specific way he is able to bring Christ to people and people to Christ. So the reason I have decided for this life is that it meets the desire of my heart, that it is God’s plan for my fulfilment.
CO: How do you feel?
JG: I am excited, nervous, and a bit overwhelmed all at the same time. Alongside that is a great peace that what God is calling me to is principally his work.
CO: What role does God play in your life?
JG: Answering this question is fraught with the danger of sounding like I’m canonising myself. So in order to avoid that, I would simply echo the words of Saint Paul that since Christ died for me, I try to live for him: ‘He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who died and rose again on their behalf.’ (2 Cor. 5:15). Not just parts of my life, but my whole life. Of course, I’m often not successful, but we all keep trying.
CO: Are there any saints you have a devotion to?
JG: I can’t go past our Blessed Mother, Mary. She is so close to all of us, all her children. She has been a daily source of strength, encouragement, guidance, and correction for me – just like a good mother. Of course, Saint Joseph is not far behind either. His silence can teach us so much. Someone who’s words really challenged me when I was a teenager was Pope Saint John Paul II. I think his words for young people can be really inspiring and he has often helped me to look to the highest things when it has been otherwise difficult to do so. I suppose he is an encouraging older brother in that sense.
CO: What do your family think of your ordination to the diaconate?
JG: My family are all quite excited, though perhaps in a bit of disbelief that it is all actually coming around. They have always been a great solace for me and a constant support so it’s nice to see their excitement at the news of the ordination. My little nephew (three-years-old) reckons the ordination might be boring, though. At least, that’s what he said.
CO: What message do you have to other young men discerning a vocation to the priesthood?
JG: Do not be afraid! This may seem like a really difficult time to be a priest, let alone to be a Catholic. But that only speaks of how much we need good, faithful priests. We see in the Scriptures, particularly the prophets, and the history of the Church that it’s times like these that God certainly asks for great sacrifice but never fails to fill those willing with his grace.
He is not asking you to live a boring life, a life only of suffering, an unpopular, lonely life. Some of the happiest people I know are priests. God asks this of you because he knows that you will find your happiness in it, that in the priesthood you will find fulfilment. So, do not be afraid. Don’t be like the young man who went away sad (cf. Mt 19:21-22). Be like the apostles and follow him!
CO: Any other final thoughts?
JG: Please pray for Jessie, Chris, and myself. Please pray for your local priests and the guys in the seminary. And please pray that many more young men will answer the call to the priesthood.
Jack Green will be Ordained to the Diaconate on 2 June 2018.