INCREASING vocations to the priesthood in Brisbane archdiocese have been welcomed – but one commentator says “there’s a sting in this good news tale”.
Resources are taxed as space and finances run out and a call has gone out to Catholics in the archdiocese and throughout the province of Queensland to support this “exciting influx” of vocations.
Three men involved with harvesting this windfall – Holy Spirit Provincial Seminary rector Monsignor Tony Randazzo, Brisbane archdiocese vocations director Fr Morgan Batt and Seminary and Clergy gift manager Lindsay Stokes – have spoken of great opportunities ahead if the challenge can be met.
Banyo’s $4 million Holy Spirit Provincial Seminary, still less than half paid for, already needs to be extended. Opened in 2008, it was originally built to cater to 16 seminarians but was extended two years ahead of time in 2010, to accommodate the 31 men in formation.
Three local men have joined the seminary this year and six more locals are due next year.
Fr Batt said the Canali House of discernment for young men considering the priesthood was also “chockers”.
Msgr Randazzo said there were several reasons for the growth in vocations, including the “stimulus package” provided by the arrival of Nigerian priests to the archdiocese under an ongoing agreement with Umuahia diocese.
Mr Stokes is spearheading a recently launched Archdiocesan Resource Development campaign to meet the seminary’s capital costs.
“We’ve gone from virtually zero to hero,” Mr Stokes said.
“Until the last couple of years we were only getting dribs and drabs in vocations to the seminary which also feeds Queensland’s other four dioceses.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
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