ABC News, by Stan Grant, Friday 10 March 2017
The Link, Episode 2, What is the role of faith in today’s world?
Jack Green, Chris Del Rosario and Joe Murphy are three men in their early 20s who are about to become priests.
They are in their final year of study at the Holy Spirit Seminary in Sydney’s west.
They are rare today; the numbers of young men training for the Catholic priesthood has been on the slide since the 1970s.
According, to the church’s numbers there are probably about 200 men in seminaries right now; that number fluctuates, but in 1969, for example, there were nearly three times that number.
So why become a priest? These three young men all had the same answer: they felt a calling.
“It was all I wanted in life, all God wanted for me in life,” Chris said.
“From a very young age I felt attracted to the priesthood,” added Joe.
“It was something that came and went throughout school … and it felt like I was being called to a life of service.”
A calling? They all described it as a feeling of peace. It wasn’t always welcome though.
Jack admits it took some time to accept it and he studied at university before deciding to enter the seminary.
There are many challenges, not the least a life of celibacy, but they say it is part of their sacrifice and commitment.
All three reject any suggestion that enforced celibacy has contributed to the crisis of sexual abuse in the Church.
They do concede that there has been a breach of trust and it will be their job to rebuild it.
“The royal commission has certainly damaged the church’s reputation but I also know the church can learn so much from the royal commission — we learn from our mistakes,” Chris said.
“I struggle for words — yeah, disgusting … this is a source of motivation for me,” Jack added.
“I am here to help people know and love Christ.”
To watch the full program on iview, click here.
To inquire about priesthood in the Diocese of Parramatta and Holy Spirit Seminary, click here.
The Diocese of Parramatta is developing an app to help you keep in touch with what is happening in the Catholic Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. You will be able to find the latest news, events and Mass times for parishes and migrant communities. To sign up to be the first to know when the app is released, click here.