Sydney seminarians have reported feeling inspired by the resilience of the Archbishop of Sydney, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, after visiting him in rehab.
Seminarians from the Seminary of the Good Shepherd visited the archbishop across two days last week, accompanied by the rector, Fr Danny Meagher, and vice-rector, Fr Arthur Givney.
“We were very moved to see His Grace recovering and in such a vulnerable state,” fourth-year seminarian Roberto Keryakos told The Catholic Weekly.
“His faith, patience and perseverance really inspired us and it was great simply spending time with him, chatting, joking – he was so witty, it was very impressive.”
Both groups prayed Vespers with the archbishop before receiving his blessing.
Roberto said the archbishop felt there was a purpose in his suffering after contracting the auto-immune disease Guillain-Barré Syndrome.
“Somehow in God’s providence this will effect something good in the Church, at least for the Sydney archdiocese,” Roberto said.
“Why has he been struck down with such a debilitating condition after only being archbishop for a year?
“I think the answer to this is that there is a meaning to his suffering, to the sufferings of anyone, and we may not know what that is just yet, but one day we will.”
Roberto was also impressed by the archbishop’s determination to get back to work and commented on “how well he is doing considering his situation, how willing he is to be rehabilitated and how much he desires to get back onto his feet to some kind of normality.
“I think when he gets better, he will come back much stronger, a different man. As one priest remarked, ‘He will come back bigger and better than ever!’”