Padre in Paris: Fr Josh’s Mission trip to France

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Sydney’s podcasting priest – reaching out to those during the COVID-19 lockdown via the internet- will be moving to Paris to enrichen his ministry upon return to Australia in the near future PHOTO: Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

Two year mission trip  to Paris

Australia’s lone Emmanuel Community priest, Fr Josh Miechels, is embarking on a two year study trip to Paris where he will live and learn from the Emmanuel Community in France as a licentiate student and assistant priest at the parish of Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs in the 3rd arrondissement.

New perspectives to share with the Sydney Catholic community upon his return

Known in Sydney for his engaging podcasts and work in youth formation at Sumner House, Fr Josh is hoping to learn from the mission new perspectives to share with the Sydney Catholic community upon his return.

“In Sydney we have been really growing amongst the young people which is very important,” said Fr Josh.   

Fr Josh will be based int he 3rd Arrondisment and will learn the French language as he immerses in the Emmanuel community in France PHOTO: Pixabay

Fr Josh will be based in the 3rd arrondissement and will deepen his understanding of the French language as he immerses in the Emmanuel community in France. The Community in Paris will speak French, which Fr Josh will continue to study as he lives among other Emmanuel priests.

“Please pray for me because this is a new challenge”

“Please pray for me because this is a new challenge. Pray  that I grow as a priest and a man and that I come back as a better priest so that I can better serve all the people of Sydney,” said Fr Josh.    

A Sydney native,  Fr Josh first encountered the Emmanuel Community in 2003 at a Youth Forum in Bandung, Indonesia, as a university student.  

“I was very impressed by the good balance of the talks and  also by the beautiful music of the liturgy.  I was also very impressed with the joy and service of the young people.” 

Subsequently, Fr Josh decided to travel to Rome, under the patronage of Cardinal Pell, to study at the   Emmanuel School of Mission in 2005. In 2006 Fr Josh  entered the seminary for the Archdiocese of Sydney whereupon he was ordained a priest at St Mary’s Cathedral in 2015.  

Archbishop Fisher embraces newly-ordained priest Fr Josh Miechels. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

 Fr Josh is currently  Assistant Priest at Our Lady of The Rosary in Fairfield.  

Worthwhile challenges 

Despite the raging COVID-19 pandemic, Fr Josh is hoping to brave the challenges which he believes will be worthwhile.  

Women wearing protective masks walk in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris March 22, 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic. (CNS photo/Raphael Lafargue, ABACAPRESS.COM via Reuters) See COVID-EUROPE-PRACTICAL March 27, 2020.

“We were thinking about the mission a long time before the pandemic.  The pandemic came but I still think it is important for me to do. Two years is not a long time and it will go quick”  

Fr Josh will also be studying at the Faculté Notre-Dame, located in the 800-year-old building of the Collège des Bernardins in the Latin Quarter.

Emmanuel members gather for dinner on the Community’s retreat.
Emmanuel members gather for dinner on the Community’s retreat.

The Emmanuel Community is a community formed after the Second Vatican Council in France with a charism centred on Eucharistic adoration, compassion and evangelisation lived out through a ‘complementarity of the states of life’ whereupon priests, consecrated people, married couples, and people of all states of life help each other grow in their vocation to holiness as equal members of the community through their baptism.  

Worldwide  the community has 11,500 members in 67 countries on 5 continents with 270 priests, 100 seminarians and 200 persons, male and female, living in consecrated celibacy. 

Fr Josh will depart for Paris on 15 January.