Youngest seminarian is still smiling after painful injury
Sydney seminarian Bradley Le Guier had an unwelcome break from his studies after badly injuring his arm in a skateboarding accident.
The 22-year-old seminarian for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross came off his board in Camperdown Park on 9 May, snapping the bones of his forearm in two and requiring surgery and a three-day stay in hospital.
“I’m just glad it was my arm and not my head,” he said. “I was coming down one of the pipes there and it was slight incline, it wasn’t anything crazy, I wasn’t trying to do tricks or anything, and I hit a piece of sandstone,” he said.
He thinks it somehow got picked up by a wheel and jammed it, stopping the board and throwing him off, but “it all happened so fast”.
“I wasn’t doing anything crazy…it all happened so fast.”
Bradley is in his second year of studies for the priesthood at the Good Shepherd Seminary, which has closed its doors to students due to the pandemic. Instead, all seminarians are staying in parishes, where they continue their classes, meetings, formation sessions and even receive spiritual direction online.
He is one of four men currently in formation with the Ordinariate in the country, one for the permanent diaconate and three for the priesthood.
Originally from Perth, Bradley was drawn to exploring a priestly vocation by a deepening prayer life that was first sparked by his involvement in Catholic youth groups while in high school.
“I looked at different dioceses and religious orders during my discernment and there were things I liked about different places, but when I started attending Mass at the Ordinariate something just fit,” he said. “I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I just felt this was something I needed to pursue.”
“I have an Anglican grandfather so I guess it’s in my blood somehow, but at first I felt quite strange with the Anglican patrimony, however I was really welcomed into the community and quickly found myself a part of it. It’s helped to deepen my prayer, spirituality, and my faith.”
The Ordinariate in Australia is headed by Monsignor Carl Reid and was erected by Pope Benedict on 15 June 2012 to allow Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while retaining much of their heritage and traditions.
It is the third Ordinariate to be erected for former Anglicans (after the United Kingdom and the United States of America/Canada).
“The Ordinariate community helped to deepen my prayer, my spirituality and my faith.”
“It’s an interesting thing and we say it’s for former Anglicans but I think it really is sharing something of that English, Anglican spirituality with the wider church that is an aspect that has been lost for hundreds of years,” said Bradley.
“I’m not surprised that now it has returned to the fullness of the Catholic Church that there are Catholics like me who find, ‘Hey this actually fits’.”
Bradley said he is “a bit spooked” by his painful experience but hopes to get back on a skateboard at some point.