The three pairs of well-worn sandshoes, lined up purposefully at the door of Brisbane's Canali House, didn't belong to each of its new residents. Nor did they belong to vocations director for Brisbane archdiocese and live-in co-ordinator Fr Morgan Batt, reports The Catholic Leader.
The sandshoes were the sole property of one of Canali's three new faces - Josh Whitehead, a personal trainer. When the Leader visited at 8am one Saturday, he had already put in a few hours of training for an upcoming ironman event in his homeland of New Zealand.
Taking the time to chat about those iron-clad hopes and the call to discerning priesthood deeper, the 31-year-old and his housemates, revealed humour and commitment.
"I moved to the Gold Coast a year ago," Josh said. "(And) one of my conditions was to go back to Mass." Josh had also trained as a boilermaker.
He'd travelled and worked extensively, including in the mines in Western Australia. 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.
FULL STORY Young men find a place to discern God's call (Catholic Leader)