BY JOHN MCLAURIN

1. How long have you been in Canberra for?
Nearly 2 months.

2. Where are you originally from?
Wangaratta, North East Victoria.

3. You have come here from Darwin. How long were you there for?
Over 10 years.

4. What do you hope to achieve at the parish in the near future?
A strong sense of Community and Family. A place of prayer and healing. A place where young people can be affirmed and develop their gifts. A place where the poor may find friends and support. Opportunities for people to grow in their gifts and the power of the Holy Spirit, especially developing lay leaders.

5. What first drew you to the Disciples of Jesus Community?
A friend invited me to a Catholic Youth Weekend run by the DoJ’s. The young people, leaders and MGLS were really welcoming, encouraging and challenging.

6. What inspired you to become a priest with the Missionaries of God’s Love?
I was in first year Uni in Melbourne and wasn’t sure where I was headed. When I grew closer to God through MGL and DoJ I felt maybe I could share what I’d received. I was inspired by people who wanted to grow stronger in faith and who wanted to share that. I saw young men training to be priests who really wanted to follow Jesus and I was inspired and challenged.

7. Which is your favourite holiday or pilgrimage destination?
Friends took me to walk the Milford Track in NZ which was wonderful, I was also deeply touched by Galilee in the Holy Land and my mum’s hometown is in the Dolomites in the Alps in Northern Italy where the scenery and food are amazing. I’ve been blessed.

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8. What is your favourite sporting teams?
The mighty Hawthorn Hawks in the AFL, Melbourne Storm in the NRL, Australia/Victoria in the Cricket, Bulls in the NBA, and Liverpool and Inter in the Soccer (World Game).

9. What music do you most like to listen to?
Matt Maher, Stephen Kirk, Fr Rob Galea, B2M, Yirrmal Marika, Tracy Chapman, Les Miserables, MercyMe, Gurrumul, Emmanuel Worship, Paul Kelly, Pentatonix, Third Day, Ben Harper, Tobymac, Sting, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Archie Roach

10. What is your favourite food or beverage?
Growing up it was Mum’s homemade lasagne, ravioli, polenta or spinach gnocchi! Now I’m having Kale juice from our garden for breakfast.

11. Are you a cat or a dog person?
A dog person but I appreciate cats.

12. What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given?
My dad: “Luganighe lunghe e prediche corte”, which means long sausages and short sermons. Abbot Brian Keogh (Cistercian monk): “Do one thing well.”

13. What is your favourite quote, phrase or saying?
– “To whom else can we go you have the words of eternal life” (John 6).
– “The Church is by its nature missionary” (Pope Paul VI).
– “To love another person is to see the face of God” (Les Miserables).

14. If you could invite any three people to dinner who would they be?
Jesus, St Francis and Mother Teresa but they probably wouldn’t eat much