New seminarians told to ‘stay focussed on Christ’

By Mary Brazell, 26 February 2020
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv (centre right), Fr John Hogan (centre) and seminarians from the Holy Spirit Seminary. Image: Alphonsus Fok/Diocese of Parramatta.


The Catholic Church of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains has welcomed four new seminarians to Holy Spirit Seminary.

The new seminarians Blake Bano, Luke Hunh, Paul Pran and Macky Amores, along with their 11 fellow seminarians were welcomed during a Mass to celebrate the commencement of the 2020 academic year.

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, was the principal celebrant of the Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, on Sunday 16 February.

Concelebrating the Mass were Fr Bob Bossini, Dean of the Cathedral, Fr John Hogan, Rector of the Holy Spirit Seminary and Fr John Paul Escarlan, Director of Vocations: Priesthood for the Diocese of Parramatta.

During his homily, Bishop Vincent urged the congregation to grow in authentic discipleship, and encouraged the faithful to pray for the young men in their vocation.

RELATED: Bishop Vincent’s Homily from the Opening Mass of the Seminary Academic Year

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta. Image: Alphonsus Fok/Diocese of Parramatta.

“Christian discipleship demands our moral courage, integrity and fidelity. The disciples were asked to go beyond the letter of the law and to interiorise holiness in a way that transforms their lives, relationships and behaviours. They were to set themselves apart; to become an alternative society rather assimilating and conforming to the value system of the dominant culture.

“Today we especially pray for the staff and seminarians at the Holy Spirit Seminary as they begin a new academic year. Priestly vocations are nurtured and formed in the womb of the family, the womb of the seminary and also that of the larger Catholic community.

“We all have a part to play and to contribute to the formation and growth of these young men. Let us pray that nourished by the wisdom of God, they may grow and become leaders after the example of Christ who came not to be served, but to serve and give his life for others,” Bishop Vincent said.

A small celebratory lunch was held at the Cathedral following Mass.

The seminarians from the Holy Spirit Seminary. Image: Alphonsus Fok/Diocese of Parramatta.

Fr John Paul Escarlan told Catholic Outlook “I feel excited to see four new faces in the seminary this year, especially since I journeyed with them through their discernment process as the director of priestly vocations.”

“I think it is imperative to start the seminary formation year with Mass celebrated by Bishop Vincent with the community of believers to reiterate that the focus of our seminary formation is on Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd.

“My words of encouragement for the new seminarians is to stay focussed on Jesus Christ and humbly nurture love for His people as you answer God’s call to the priesthood,” Fr John Paul said.

To find out more about a vocation to priesthood in the Diocese of Parramatta, visit, contact the Holy Spirit Seminary or Director of Vocations: Priesthood, Fr John Paul Escarlan –

View images from the Opening Mass of the Seminary Academic Year here or below.

Seminary Academic Year Commencement 2020

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