From a “large family” of six siblings from the north of Auckland, “joining the army” is also part of his story.
Fast-forward to the Gold Coast, Josh found himself more able to attend daily Mass because of a flexible schedule as a personal trainer.
It was there he “heard a calling”.
“Every time I went back to church the right people came along,” he said.
“(And) I really started to hear the calling to priesthood.
“I was invited to a Quo Vadis (Vocations Office-sponsored) weekend and then to come here (to Canali House, a place of discernment).
“I prayed about it for a couple of months and the more I prayed the more right it felt.
“When I finally said ‘Yes’ to God, everything felt really peaceful and I knew it was the right thing to do.”
Josh admitted he “hoped he wasn’t called to priesthood” when he was a child.
But that was because of a lack of understanding.
“I wanted to travel,” he said, adding, “And I thought that was the kind of thing priests couldn’t do.
“(But) I know better than that now, meeting Fr Morgan – he’s probably the most travelled priest in the whole of Australia.”
The group erupted with laughter and Fr Morgan, present and accounted for, smiled broadly.
“The house is here for blokes to come along to,” Fr Morgan said.
“Whether they are living in or not, it’s a place to discern where God is calling them.
“As a priest I think this is a blessing for my priesthood to do this.
“(And) it’s an awesome thing to grow leadership in the Church every day.”
Beside Josh was Tom Duncan.
The former boarder from Marist College, Ashgrove, was born in Miles, north-west of Toowoomba.
Asked how he would be placed beside Josh in the ironman stakes, the men agreed “Tom has the speed but Josh the stamina”.
Again, the jovial camaraderie of the house was evident. Tom is a cabinetmaker by trade who also took part in the Quo Vadis weekend.
He said that, when he decided to move into Canali House his family “were really supportive and happy”.
“We always call each other,” he said, happy in himself to be broadening his horizons.
“I’m keen to learn some new things,” Tom, who has two siblings, said.
He was referring to the Canali House trio starting studies in theology and Christian ministry.
“(And) we take turns to cook in the house,” Tom said.
“I’m new to it and still learning … I’m the apprentice.”
The men take turns to prepare a three-course meal every Thursday night.
Evening meals, they agreed, were “normally times of Q and A sessions” with Fr Morgan, something immensely helpful and informative, said Adalbert Imperial.
The 25-year-old is a doctor at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and, while his “first name is German and last name is French”, he was born in the Philippines.
“Adalbert is meant to mean ‘noble and bright’,” he said, adding, “None of which I am.”
And yet, in person, Adalbert seemed exactly that.
The University of Queensland graduate has plans to study further – as a physician or medical oncologist.
He was raised in “a religious family” with two older brothers and a younger sister but it was his experience at World Youth Day in Spain last year that reignited the call to priesthood.
“I would go to Mass as often as I could,” Adalbert said of his childhood and adulthood.
“(And) I know I am definitely drawn to priesthood.
“It’s a matter of fitting my studies into that.”
Fr Morgan said he hoped to help the trio answer, “How can you put your skills and personality at the service of the Gospel and the Church?”
“We want to deepen someone, not reinvent them,” he said.
“I would love Adalbert to be some medical practising priest with priesthood coming first.
“I think Josh being a boilermaker and into fitness would be an inspiration to a lot of people.
“(And) Tom being a cabinetmaker … we have a lot of priests who are builders.
“They are three terrific young men with much to give the Church.”
Those discerning the promptings of God via Canali House take part in daily and communal prayer – “whether it be the Divine Office, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Night Prayer or the Mass”, Fr Morgan said.
“I don’t want these guys to take up a full seminary-like prayer life as that could be quite daunting,” he said.
They also take part in events like Consilium, a dinner and input session, and the Young Men of God initiative which is “a gathering of blokes”, some of whom are married.
Fr Morgan is keen to see those in the house also “connect with the Church locally” and they do that in the local community of Jubilee parish or where they have previously worshipped.
All the while the connections between Canali House and Holy Spirit Provincial Seminary, Banyo, are strong – so strong, the fellows have even invented new “catch phrases”.
“We call ourselves the CCBs,” Josh said, explaining that means, “the current Canali boys”.
“The guys at the seminary are the COBs – the Canali Old Boys.”
“Connections are being built and I think that’s great,” Fr Morgan said, also referring to a new badge for Canali residents.
“On the badge we have the flame, while the seminary have a dove,” he said.
“It is the Holy Spirit connection between the two.
“(And) the black Cross in the centre is the same size as the silver Cross the seminarians wear.”
Fr Morgan said a fourth man would be joining Canali House soon.
For more information on vocations phone (07) 3336 9203 or go to the website www.catholicpriesthood.com
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