Peter Street is the only seminarian progressing through his formation to become a priest within the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, reports The Maitland Mercury.
'I’m it. I am the entire student body and I haven’t known anything different, so I don’t have anything to compare it to,' he said. 'But there have been times in the past few years, for obvious reasons, when it would have been nice to have had somebody to talk to.'
Mr Street, 33, was educated through the public school system. The priesthood, he recalls, beckoned from an early age. 'I was quite young, a child, when I realised this is what I wanted to do. I remember being at Mass one day and being very, very impressed with the parish priest and thinking what a good man he was and I wanted to be like that and live a life of service for others,' he said.
'And this feeling just didn’t go away despite me trying to make it go away for some time. But I realised I needed to respond positively to the call from God.'
A call the former nurse believes will now include a large role in helping those in the aftermath of horrific clergy abuse.