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Large turnout? A good problem for a seminary

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Men interested in the possibility of discerning their vocations further in the context of seminary life listen as Rector Fr Michael de Stoop talks about what is involved. Photo: Supplied
Men interested in the possibility of discerning their vocations further in the context of seminary life listen as Rector Fr Michael de Stoop talks about what is involved. Photo: Supplied

Bumper numbers turned out at the Good Shepherd Seminary’s Open Day last weekend, confirming that despite the seeming challenges in Australia today, young men are answering the call.

Invited to “Come and See”, men responded from parishes across Sydney including nine residents of Sumner House, the Archdiocese’s centre for discernment in Lidcombe, to explore the possibility of a priestly vocation.

Coordinated by the Archdiocesan Director of Vocations, Fr Daniele Russo, the event attracted 25 men, more than anticipated, and bringing about a need for extra facilities … a good problem to have, according to seminary staff.

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Starting with Mass, the men then spoke to current seminarians about their discernment journey and remarked on the sense of fraternity among them.

They were also taken on a guided tour of the seminary grounds and its beautiful gardens before Rector Fr Michael de Stoop provided an interactive overview of the formation program.

Many of those who attended were struck by the peaceful and welcoming environment they experienced despite being in the centre of the hustle and bustle of Sydney.

“I was nervous before I came today, but I was encouraged by the great sense of brotherhood that is clearly present among the seminarians … I also liked how they were assigned specific roles to contribute to the overall peace and quality of community life,” one commented.

Another attendee said: “As soon as I walked through the front gate, I felt great peace. I was surprised that a place in the middle of Homebush is so peaceful and quiet. Because I felt at home in this place, this Open Day has helped me to consider more if God is calling me to be formed here.”

While another added: “I am surprised by the calibre of the young men who are exploring the possibility of a priestly vocation, as well as the seminarians who are currently in formation.

“I took heart in learning how the Seminary’s formation program starts with the humanity of the seminarian so that, when formed, priests can be more receptive to God’s grace. I was moved by the Liturgy in the Chapel, as it centred my heart on the significance of Christ’s Sacrifice in the Eucharistic banquet.”

If you would like to explore a possible priestly calling, contact the Archdiocese of Sydney’s Vocation Centre: [email protected]

Adopt a Seminarian

You are invited to adopt a seminarian so that they may benefit from your prayers as they undertake their priestly formation. You can adopt a seminarian either anonymously or, if you wish, you can register your name or the name of your prayer group, together with the name of the seminarian you would like to adopt, with the Rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd Fr Michael de Stoop: [email protected]

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