A YOUNG Brisbane university student expected to be on his own at the annual Archbishop’s Vocations Dinner for young men considering the priesthood.
Instead he found himself with 60 other keen young men at the dinner hosted by Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane at the Archbishop’s New Farm residence, “Wynberg”, on April 18.
“I thought I was going to be the only one here - but this is awesome,” Dominic, from the University of Queensland, told archdiocesan vocations director Fr Morgan Batt.
It was the first vocations dinner Archbishop Coleridge had hosted since his appointment to Brisbane archdiocese last year.
“It was a terrific night for the young men to get to see they are not discerning alone – in fact there are many walking the same journey with them,” Fr Batt said.
“The amazing thing is another 20 young men had indicated an interest in attending the dinner, but couldn’t make it.”
Fr Batt said for the young men, celebrating a meal together, listening to Archbishop Coleridge’s talk, meeting priests of the archdiocese, and Holy Spirit Provincial Seminary rector Monsignor Anthony Randazzo and seminarians, as well as the archdiocese vocations team, were all highlights of the night.
Archbishop Coleridge told those gathered “the Church is not dead but alive, especially through the lives of you young men discerning priesthood”.
“Whether you become a priest or not is between you and God but every young man should discern a call to priesthood,” he said.
Msgr Randazzo said “the energy and atmosphere of the night speaks of the Holy Spirit’s influence”.
Fr Batt opened the night with a quote from Pope Benedict XVI: “the ability to foster vocations is a hallmark of the vitality of a local Church”.
“That such a large gathering of young men discerning the call has gathered here confirms the vitality of the Church in the Brisbane archdiocese,” he said. “Last year there were 40 young men at the dinner, this year 60. Let’s hope for 80 to 100 next year.”