Sydney Archdiocese’s two seminaries are booming in 2018, with an increase in young men choosing to enter formation for the priesthood. Source: The Catholic Weekly.
The Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Homebush, which produces priests for service in archdiocesan parishes, is experiencing a renaissance of interest with 51 seminarians from ten dioceses in formation – the largest number the seminary has had in over a decade.
“I believe there was a similar number about ten years ago,” Fr Danny Meagher, Rector of the seminary, told The Catholic Weekly.
This year eight new seminarians entered the Homebush seminary. There will also be two ordinations to the priesthood and seven to the diaconate in 2018.
The seminarians range in age from 21 to 41, and while most were born and bred in Australia, many are from diverse ethnic backgrounds including Vietnamese, Filipino, Iraqi, Ugandan, Nigerian and Italian.
There are also three Sydney seminarians currently undertaking studies in Rome.
“We try to help them come to know themselves better,” Fr Meagher said. “To come to know God better, understand the Church, so they can freely choose to give themselves to God and the Church. And to grow in maturity, goodness and holiness in order to become good compassionate priests.”
Meanwhile, the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary in Chester Hill – run under the auspices of the Neocatechumenal Way in Australia – has 22 young men from all parts of the world studying for the priesthood.
Founded in Spain in 1968, the Neocatechumenal Way is one of the newest and fastest growing movements in the Church.
While priests ordained from Redemptoris Mater always belong, once ordained, to the Archdiocese of Sydney, they can be released to serve in missionary roles all over the world.
Rector Fr Eric Skruzny said they are expecting another two new-starters to join them this year. The seminarians undertake their studies at the Catholic Institute of Sydney and Notre Dame University.
“The aim is to prepare them to be missionary priests in a changing world,” Fr Skruzny said.
“To prepare them to be ready to confront the challenges of a modern and changing society. To confront the challenges of moral confusion and ignorance. To be merciful and understand the difficulties and pressures for people living in the modern world.”
Sydney’s seminaries booming despite cultural climate (The Catholic Weekly)