The Joy of Vocations to the priesthood in a hostile world
Dear Friends in Christ,
The ordination of two of our young men to the priesthood on 7th September 2018 is a great joy for the Archdiocese.
Frs. Namora Anderson and Adrian Chan have co-discerned with us over a long period of time that the gentle call of the Holy Spirit deep within them is, indeed, a call to the ministerial priesthood.
They have pledged total commitment to exercise the priesthood of Jesus Christ as priests in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn all the days of their life. May the Lord Jesus and Mary, the mother of all priests, strengthen their resolve in both the good and challenging times ahead
In regard to the challenging times ahead, I am reminded of a very strong statement made some years ago by a former Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago in USA who was not one to make strong statements.
Cardinal Francis George (1937 – 2015), in reflecting on being a bishop in the increasingly hostile world for religious belief in the Western world of today had this to say:
“I expect to die in my bed. My successor will die in prison. His successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild a society as the church has done so often in human history.”
Let us hope this is an exaggeration! However, it may be seen as the consequence of a State making laws beyond its competence.
Yet, history has shown that young people will be drawn all the more to the priesthood and religious life in a society that starts to persecute religious believers.
Please encourage priesthood vocations for our Archdiocese. You have all been most generous in giving monies for the education of our seminarians. Thank you so much. Can I impose on your generosity further to encourage vocations in your own families and friends. I would be so pleased to have many more vocations. For those interested, please contact my Vocations Director, Fr Paul Nulley paul. firstname.lastname@example.org to seek further advice and direction.
Later this year, I will be happy to ordain, please God, to the (transitional) Diaconate, Alexander Osbourne.
I am also so happy to announce that Fr Loi Viovicente, our Filipino parish priest of Page and Aranda, has been incardinated into the Archdiocese.
The times are tough for religious belief. The challenges are many and the societal context looks bleak. But we are people of hope and courage. Our shared Catholic faith can grow so much when under pressure. The Holy Spirit is with us more than ever before because our needs are so great.
In this Year of Youth, and in the lead up to the Plenary Council of Australia (2020/2021), and in the aftermath of the Royal Commission, let us all do what Jesus asks of us and “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” (Luke 5/4)