A vocations discernment dinner will be held at Archbishop’s house on Friday, 7 September. The evening will begin with prayer at 6pm, followed by an informal dinner with Monsignor John Woods. Any young men in Year 11 or older who would like to learn more about and discuss a call to the priesthood or religious life are invited to attend. RSVP by Monday, 3 September, to Vocations Director Fr Emil Milat, telephone 4474 2024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a bid to increase interest in vocations, Archbishop Mark Coleridge has invited school leaders from all Catholic colleges in the Archdiocese to his home for a luncheon.
Trinity Catholic College in Goulburn and Carroll College in Broulee were the first to accept, with 23 students making the trek to Canberra on 1 June.
Vocations director Fr Emil Milat, who facilitated the event,
said the students were cautious at first but soon relaxed and joined in
discussions on youth issues, youth spirituality and youth involvement in
The Catholic Youth Ministry team assisted on the day, and a barbecue lunch was provided by the Serra Club.
In his invitation to students, Archbishop Coleridge said the luncheon was part of an initiative to stir an awareness of and interest in vocations.
“In similar gatherings previously, young people have enjoyed tasting the spiritual heritage which Archbishop House embodies and also meeting the Archbishop in a more personal and relaxed way,” he said.
“I would also like to see the gatherings as a sign to young people that the Church wants to walk with them, make space for them and pray for them as they move into the future asking which path to follow.”
Students from St Francis Xavier, Marist, Daramalan, St Edmund’s and St Clare’s Colleges will attend another luncheon later in the year.
Carroll College students Matt Favetta and Mikki Wignell wrote:
On Tuesday June 1 a group of Year 10 and 11 students traveled to the Archbishop’s house in Canberra. It was an opportunity for Archbishop Mark to gain insight into the importance of faith in the lives of young people.
Father Emil came along on the day and organized a variety of interactive activities that enabled us to voice our opinions. We discussed World Youth Day and its impact on the spirituality of young people. We evaluated the role of the Church in the lives of youth and its relevance to one’s spirituality. Thoughts were shared regarding our belief in God and the difference between a career, job and a vocation was discussed. Most importantly we learnt that a vocation is a path or opportunity we feel should be undertaken due to a calling from God. Bishop Mark listened to our varying perspectives and viewpoints with interest and he continually reinforced that each of us had a path to follow, whether it be a career, tertiary learning, leadership roles or maybe a vocation.
Bishop Mark’s intelligence was incredible as he fluently spoke a range of languages including Latin and Italian. He had particular interest in the views of young people on leadership matters and how we felt about issues of concern for the young people of our catholic society.
The day was concluded by a prayer service in a small chapel which has recently been added to the Archbishop’s House. We left the house with a deeper understanding of our spiritual lives and made new friends that had a genuine interest in issues concerning Australia’s youth. On behalf of all the students involved we would like to extend our thanks to Mr Sutton who kindly drove the school bus and looked after us, and to Mr Hamer who gave us the opportunity to be involved in such a wonderful event.
World Youth Day has resulted in an increased interest in religious vocations, archdiocesan vocations director Fr Emil Milat said on the first anniversary of the event.
“Surprisingly I didn’t notice a big response directly after World Youth Day, but in the last six months I have seen an increase in interest,” he said.
“World Youth Day set off a whole series of events – but the results are hard to pinpoint.
“In our diocese it was during the actual preparation and organisation for the event that we saw an increase in vocations. We had four vocations to the seminary in the lead up to World Youth Day. I could definitely see the Holy Spirit working before and during World Youth Day.”
Clinical psychologist Miss Jessica Wilson, 26, was among eight young people discerning their vocation at the most recent vocations weekend held at St Clement’s, Galong.
Miss Wilson said World Youth Day “definitely” encouraged her to find out more about vocations.
“I guess it was a combination of that really powerful presence of the Holy Spirit at World Youth Day, a rekindling of outwardly professing my faith, making new Catholic friends to support me in my journey and the great gift of God's grace at World Youth Day which led me to open my heart and really pray about what God might want for me in my life,” she said.
“Right now I don't know if that will entail a religious vocation, marriage or something else but I'm gradually getting more and more comfortable to being open to whatever it is that God might call me to.”
There was “no way” she would have considered a religious vocation before World Youth Day, which she considered “the clear catalyst for my openness to that. The past 12 months have brought a huge amount of growth as a result.
“Following World Youth Day I feel really close to God and much clearer about what’s important to me. I feel peaceful and content in lots of ways, like I’ve reconnected with being Catholic. I’ve remembered all the great things about being Catholic, not just the negative ones that can get focussed on when you live a mainstream, secular life.”
James Moloney attended the vocations weekend and said he "had a great time".
"I would recommend it to anyone, regardless of if they feel a calling or not," he said.
"It gave me some tools and insight into discerning a vocation in general."
Peter Kaupa said he felt "inspired" during the vocations weekend.
"I really appreciated the talks and the direction that were given," he said.
"They inspired me very much to reflect on my own vocation and my priestly formation."