By Daniele Defendi
Good Shepherd Sunday 30 April marked the annual day of vocation and discernment for the priesthood at St Charles Seminary.
The event was organised in collaboration with the Vocations Office of Perth, and invited men from across the city to come and find out more about life as a seminarian and diocesan priest.
This year, 13 men enquired about the priesthood, many of whom went on to register their interest for further enquiry.
The day’s events began with an opening Mass celebrated by Rector Fr Francis Nguyen.
“The annual celebration of the fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday, is often set aside to pray for all Christian vocations, including Marriage, Consecrated Religious Life, Single Life and Priesthood,” Fr Francis said.
“Today we pray especially for these young men to open their hearts to listen to the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd and discern if they have a call to be priests and respond to it with generosity and faith,” he said.
At the conclusion of Mass, attendees listened to a series of talks and presentations, including a talk from the Perth Archdiocese Vocations Director Fr Israel Quirit.
Fr Israel spoke of his own journey toward the priesthood, reassuring many of the visitors that discerning God’s will for their lives was a natural part of the life-long adventure of priesthood.
Attendees were given a brief tour of the seminary grounds, where they were free to have their questions answered about everyday life at St Charles from the seminarians presenting the tour.
After a relaxing lunch spent talking and taking in the spectacular riverside views of Guildford, the attendees shifted over to the seminary lawn for an exciting game of soccer.
Finally, the vocation and discernment day at St Charles Seminary finished with a solemn benediction ceremony at the chapel.
In the lead up to the event, seminarians were invited to present a vocation talk to local parishes and Catholic communities, sharing the story of their own vocation journey and promoting a vocation to the priesthood.
While many parishioners and young people positively responded to the testimonies, the seminarians were tremendously inspired and strengthened by the genuine experience of warmth, welcome, support, strong witness to the vibrancy of faith and reassurance of prayers for them.
These prayers were evident in the success of the vocation and discernment day, with many attendees on the day speaking positively of the experience and signing up to learn more.