Macky Amores’ journey to the Holy Spirit Seminary in the Diocese of Parramatta has been a somewhat winding road, but it is definitely where he feels God is calling him to be.
Parramatta Catholic Foundation’s Bishop’s Good Shepherd Appeal is raising funds to help the Holy Spirit Seminary in Harris Park prepare men who have been called by God to become priests, like Macky.
Macky, who was born and raised in the Philippines, first felt the call to the priesthood as a young child raised in a Catholic family. But after finishing school, he went to university and became a computer engineer and then a teacher.
In 2011, Macky was part of the Vincentian Popular Mission in the province of Negros Occidental, and for the next six years, he took part in mission trips across the Philippines. He began his novitiate formation with the Vincentian fathers and brothers, before leaving to take up teaching again.
In 2018, he was inspired to restart his vocational journey and applied to join the priesthood in the Diocese of Parramatta.
Macky says his faith was nurtured throughout his youth in a range of different ways that helped pave the way for his vocation, including children’s catechism, children’s and youth choir, youth group member, studying at a Catholic university and working in Catholic schools.
“During my children’s catechism days, we were brought by our volunteer teachers to attend Mass every day after our sessions,” he says. “That is where I found the fire that ignited my desire to become a priest someday. I was around five to seven years old.
“My faith and vocation as time progressed built up and made me realise that when I was younger, I had that vision and desire to become a priest someday. That was the first time I felt the calling, but I ignored it because I was still too young. Instead, I just nurtured it by joining the Church as much as possible.”
Macky says one of the things he enjoys most about being a seminarian in the Diocese of Parramatta is the opportunity to spend time in parish communities.
Fr Paul Marshall, Rector of Holy Spirit Seminary, says this aspect of the seminarians’ formation is crucial for their future ministry.
“For a priest, their engagement in parish life is through the people,” he says.
“In listening to their stories, we can really hear what God’s spirit is saying here and now. In turn, they can give back more to the parishes and create a richer community for everyone involved. If these men can take the Word of God and make it come alive, and celebrate the sacraments with real creativity and authenticity, that’s going to bring life and hope to the world.”
Fr Paul says the seminary formation team is hoping to expand its opportunities for the seminarians to have experiences beyond the seminary walls.
“We’d like to expand the formation and introduce new things for the seminarians including offsite initiatives, retreats, and more pastoral placements,” he says.
Macky says that with his missionary background, he enjoys reaching out to people and sharing his abilities.
“I like being able to serve the Church and its faithful,” he says. “Aside from the privileges of being a priest in training, we are able to become the extension hand of the priest to the parishioners, supporting, guiding, and praying with them as we deepen our relations and connections to God together.
“Being a missionary, I want to help the Diocese in evangelisation … going out to the peripheries where people are thirsting for faith and longing for the accompaniment of God through us, his instruments.”
Macky thanked the people of the Diocese for supporting him and his brother seminarians through their journey towards priesthood.
“The priesthood is such an amazing gift from God to the Church, to me and my seminarian brothers in Christ, and to His people,” he says. “We are so blessed to have your prayers, financial support and accompaniment during our formation.
“You are helping us all to grow in love and devotion for God, and in humble service to our faith community. Thank you and God bless you.”
It’s in the Holy Spirit Seminary and the heart of our parishes that they are formed for this faithful service to our community, answering the special call from God that each of them has had, to join the priesthood and live their lives as His devoted disciples.
Support our seminarians to humbly serve our faith community. To make your donation, please call (02) 8838 3482 or visit yourcatholicfoundation.org.au/bishops-good-shepherd-co-appeal-23