Meet our new seminarians for 2013

Thursday 14 March 2013

Words Fr Binh Le   
Picture John Casamento

AFTER enjoying the summer break, our seminarians began in early February of 2013 another year of formation to the priesthood at Corpus Christi College, Carlton, the Regional Seminary. At present, 39 seminarians are in formation to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Melbourne: 35 at Corpus Christi College and four in Rome.

This year, Archbishop Hart has accepted nine seminarians for the Archdiocese of Melbourne: six from parishes in Melbourne and three from India. These nine seminarians come from various backgrounds with different qualifications and life experiences. You can read their short autobiographies in the Autumn edition of  Vocations News .

These new seminarians, after a long period of prayerful and thoughtful discernment, have now asked for an opportunity to enter the seminary to discern more vigorously the Lord’s call to the priesthood.

It is undoubted that the encouragement and support from their local parishes, family and friends have played an important part in their discernment journey. However, their time in silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, regularly celebrating the sacrament of Reconciliation and participating at the Eucharist have led them to this point.

Silent prayer, celebrating the sacrament of Reconciliation and participating at Mass regularly are necessary in one’s discernment journey. However, these three spiritual aspects are also important during the season of Lent in which we prepare ourselves for the celebration of Easter. The season of Lent gives us an opportunity to renew our faith in the Lord, to repent of sin, and to prepare to celebrate joyfully the mysteries of our salvation.

We renew our faith in the Lord through prayer. The act of praying, especially the prayer Jesus taught us, expresses our humility and dependence on the Lord. Our relationship with the Lord is strengthened and sustained by prayer. Lent is a time to devote ourselves to prayer in a more intentional way.

It is through prayer that we recognise our many trespasses against the Lord, against the people around us and against ourselves. Yet, the Lord has given us the sacrament of Reconciliation, where we can seek forgiveness from him. Lent provides us wonderful opportunities to celebrate this sacrament of healing again.

The perfect form of prayer is the Mass. It is at Mass that we joyfully celebrate the Paschal Mystery of the Lord: his death and Resurrection. To participate in Mass regularly shows that our relationship with Christ is part of our everyday lives. Going to Mass frequently makes our relationship with the Lord more central in our lives. Perhaps we can try to attend daily Mass during this season of Lent.

To those who are discerning a vocation to the priesthood, may I recommend to you, during this season of Lent, to pray, to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation and to attend Mass regularly. It may be that through these sacred days of the season of Lent, you gain a clearer understanding of the Lord’s call.

I hope you will have a blessed and holy Lenten season.

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Fr Binh Le is Vocations Director, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.