Rosie Drum MGL was previously Assistant Director, Catholic Youth Parramatta. She wrote this reflection piece for Catholic Outlook about her two brothers – Daniel and Stephen – who were ordained to the priesthood on 29 May 2021.
Eleven years ago, my brothers Daniel and Stephen surprised most of my family, including myself, by announcing they were joining a religious order, the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity. While I’ve had over a decade to get my head around the reality that two of the six brothers I’ve played sport and board games with and done farm chores alongside, and even occasionally fought with, were preparing to become priests, it was still surreal watching them be ordained. On Saturday 29 May at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, the whole family gathered for just that purpose.
One of nine children, I joined the Missionaries of God’s Love sisters as a 21-year-old with great peace and excitement, but had no inkling that any of my siblings would join me in a vocation to the religious life. As far as I knew, I was going to be the only one. I was prepared for the fact that while they all supported my desire to pour myself out for God and the mission of the Church, I was to some extent going to be alone in that way of life.
But God moved in a powerful way in my family over the last 18 years and as well as adding beautiful spouses and a new generation of children to the Drum family, he called Dan, the bio-technologist, and Steve, the civil engineer, to the priesthood.
We’ve been drawn closer together over the years, sharing the trials of formation, study and mission, facing our personal weaknesses and the challenges of sharing the Gospel in an increasingly secularised world. They’re deeply prayerful men, and their love for everyone and their desire that all whom they meet know the Jesus they love and serve profoundly inspires me.
It’s hard to describe the feelings that their Ordination day produced in me. I know my face is still aching from smiling and my eyes are red from happy tears! I mostly felt joy, and a surge of hope for the whole Church. I know the quality of these two men, and the priesthood is richer for their joining its ranks. There’s also an awed awareness that while they have completed one part of their journey, they’re just beginning the rest of their lives and it will be glorious and difficult and thrilling and boring and powerful and unexpected. They will be present in other people’s highest and lowest moments, as well as walking with them in Ordinary Time.
And so I ask that you join me in praying for Fr Dan and Fr Steve to remain faithful to the call to serve that God has placed on their lives. Pray too for all men and women in formation in religious life, and for many more to step forward courageously to know Jesus and to make him known in our world.