QUEENSLAND seminarians will start a new course giving future priests practical experiences to prepare young people for mission and evangelisation.
Holy Spirit Provincial Seminary last week opened and blessed a new multi-purpose learning centre dedicated to the patron of missions St Francis Xavier.
It will be the hub for a new school of mission for seminarians.
The school will offer seminarians a learning space to teach young people how to be missionary and grow in the new evangelisation.
Brisbane seminarian Jack Ho, who is in his second year of priestly training, is looking forward to stretching his old teaching fingers inside the newly blessed building.
“I worked as a teacher and then in the Department of Education, and this new school is a good thing as priests are teachers,” Mr Ho said.
“It will be good to learn how to teach young people mission and evangelisation, and for myself, re-learn how to be an effective teacher.”
Mr Ho said the mission school at the Queensland seminary was “a course like no other” and would prepare “us to be relevant future pastors of the Church”.
Seminary rector Monsignor Tony Randazzo said the “innovative” school was the first in Australia to prepare the country’s future priests in the mission of the Church.
“I think it will give them much more practical experience of working and influencing evangelisation and mission opportunities for young people,” he said.
Msgr Randazzo said young people were “captivated” by the Gospel, and were “eager to get out there and live the Catholic faith”.
“But so many of our young men being ordained go into a parish (and) are given functional tasks,” he said.
“Of course there are things we have to do as priests, but we can’t lose that edge, which is where the energy is and is with our young people.”
Msgr Randazzo expected participants in the school of mission to come from Queensland’s five dioceses, and particularly young people in rural areas such as Weipa, Mt Isa, Augathella and Kingaroy.
As well as the multi-purpose learning centre, the Queensland seminary opened and blessed a new “state of the art” kitchen, available for seminarians, and clergy and youth groups.
Australia’s papal nuncio Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana blessed the new buildings at the official opening on November 14.
By Emilie Ng