Having recently watched the ordination of three of their brothers to the priesthood, the men discerning their calling at the Diocese’s Holy Spirit Seminary have begun their academic year surrounded by the faithful they will minister to in the future.
On Sunday 26 February, the First Sunday of Lent, the nine Diocesan seminarians – which includes two new members – joined parishioners at the Solemn Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, celebrated by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta.
“We are blessed with these candidates for the priesthood,” Bishop Vincent said in his opening remarks.
“The Diocese is a formation community, so we ask you to pray and support them as they endeavour to form themselves into shepherds in the model of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.”
In his homily about the temptation of Christ in the desert, Bishop Vincent explained that the journey the seminarians undergo in their formation is similar to that experienced by Christ and God’s people in the exodus.
“The rhythm of the paschal mystery is being rigorously enacted in the priesthood of our time,” Bishop Vincent said.
“We need to die to all that is unworthy of Christ’s priesthood, in order to rise and resemble even more perfectly the Master-Servant.
“Instead of returning to some golden era of the Church, these seminarians, these priests of the future are to embrace the refining and purifying that will enable them to live and serve like Christ.
“Lent is our time to renew our own baptismal commitment, to follow the way of Jesus and to live our mission with courage. May the God who led his Beloved into the desert to test, renew and transform him also enable us to do the same.”
As our seminarians begin the academic year, we pray that they will seek to deepen not only their knowledge of the faith but their love for God and God’s people in the local church.
We continue to pray for all vocations across the Diocese and that young people have the courage to listen and take up God’s call.
To find out more about a vocation to the priesthood in the Diocese of Parramatta, visit www.parracatholic.org/seminary, contact the Holy Spirit Seminary or the Director of Vocations: Priesthood, Fr Christopher Del Rosario on email@example.com.
The Diocesan Vocations Committee invites you to attend its next Holy Hour for Vocations at St Patrick’s Cathedral Chapel on 15 March at 7pm. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can rewatch the Solemn Mass for the First Sunday of Advent and the seminary academic year commencement via the St Patrick’s Cathedral Parramatta YouTube channel.
View images from the Mass here or below: