Friday, February 24, 2017

Brisbane welcomes five new seminarians

Brisbane seminarians
The Brisbane archdiocese has welcomed five new seminarians to Holy Spirit Seminary Queensland despite the "shame" revealed by the royal commission.

Gerard Lai, Minje Kim, David Nightingale, Isaac Falzon and John Foley took their first steps towards the priesthood at the seminary's official opening Mass on February 12.

This year's intake is marginally larger than last year's intake of four.

Seminary rector Msgr John Grace said the opening Mass set the course for a good year in the seminary amidst the hurt and healing coming out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Msgr Grace said in light of the final hearing for the Catholic Church at royal commission, an increase in numbers in the seminary was a sign of hope for the archdiocese.

"The invitation to the priesthood comes from God, and that call has never been withdrawn," he said.

"In light of the revelations in the royal commission, the fact we have young men offering themselves for service to the Church as priest is that hope is not far. In our shame we don't lose heart."

Msgr Grace said the formation at the seminary would also "come under fire" from recommendations of the royal commission.

Holy Spirit Seminary at Banyo is now home to 20 men training to become priests for Queensland.

Three of the seminarians are on pastoral placement in Mount Isa, Toowoomba and Maroochydore.

Msgr Grace said the average age of the seminarians was 30.

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