Inaugural Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation hopes to bridge gaps and foster discipleship

16 Oct 2020

By Amanda Murthy

Father Vincent Glynn officially assumed his role as the first Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation and a member of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Perth on 1 July. Photo: Amanda Murthy.

By Amanda Murthy

Father Vincent Glynn officially commenced his role as the first Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation and a member of the Archdiocese of Perth Curia on 1 July 2020.

His appointment by Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB indicates the importance that the Archbishop places on these areas of ministry in the Church.

Fr Glynn will build on the work undertaken in the Adult Faith Formation area, continuing development and implementation of the strategies outlined in the Archdiocesan Plan 2016-2021, particularly in the area of fostering a faith formation network group between the adult faith formation agencies that provide various forms of formation and education in the Archdiocese.

The former Senior Lecturer in Sacramental Theology at the University of Notre Dame Australia Fremantle campus shared his background, faith journey, and vocation with The Record.

“Having worked in the areas of adult faith formation and education for over 25 years, I hope to use my experience and knowledge to enable the vision of our Archbishop as expressed in the Archdiocesan Strategic Plan to continue to support collaboration between the faith education agencies within the Archdiocese, and to encourage and support faith formation within parishes and communities,” Fr Glynn stated.

Born in 1958 as the eldest of six children, Fr Glynn began his schooling at Our Lady of Lourdes in Nollamara and then enrolled as a foundation student of the then-new school and parish of St Gerard Majella, Mirrabooka.
In 1976, he began studying for the priesthood at St Charles’ Seminary in Guildford and completed his training at St Francis Xavier Seminary in Adelaide.

Father Vincent Glynn officially assumed his role as the first Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation and a member of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Perth on 1 July. Photo: Amanda Murthy.

Fr Glynn expressed that it was the example of “faith in action” shown by his parents, parish priests and teachers that played a significant role in his faith journey from an early age.

“My parents and family did more than just go to Church – they were always actively involved in the parish, school and church community in various ways, and helped in a very hands-on way with the foundation and development of Mirrabooka Parish,” Fr Glynn expressed.

“The influence of some of teachers both at St Gerard’s and CBHS Highgate also played an important role in my faith journey and eventual vocation.
“Then of course, there was the experience and knowledge gained during my studies and the help, support, and inspiration provided by many from the parishes I worked and lived in, particularly Floreat-Wembley Parish where I lived and celebrated Mass each weekend for 19 years.

“However, the core of my faith and vocation was the experience of God’s love for me and my relationship with the living person of Jesus.

“This relationship expressed in prayer, liturgy and community is the anchor of my vocation and ministry as a priest,” he added.

Fr Glynn was ordained a priest in December 1982 by Archbishop Launcelot John Goody at St Mary’s Cathedral and went on to serve in the parishes of Carlisle, Leederville, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Nollamara, Embleton, and Floreat-Wembley.

It was upon the completion of his Licentiate in Sacramental Theology from the Pontifical University of Sant’Anselmo in Rome (1991) and his return to Perth that Fr Glynn found his priestly ministry in the areas of education and faith formation.

Over the years, Fr Glynn has lectured at various institutions, including the Catholic Institute of WA, Edith Cowan University, Curtin University, St Charles’ Seminary, and Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

He has provided ongoing formation for teachers and catechists within Catholic Education WA and among various parishes.

Fr Glynn was also the Director of the Maranatha Institute for Adult Faith Education (now the Centre for Faith Enrichment) from 1999 to 2005.
For the past 11 years, he has been a Senior Lecturer in Sacramental Theology at Notre Dame University Fremantle.

In 2011, after several years of part-time study, he gained a Bachelor of Laws degree from UNDA, a degree that he said broadened his understanding of many things and that he really enjoyed doing.

Over the past five years he has contributed to the writing, editing and publication of Pastoral Liturgy (a national liturgical resource used by many parishes Australia-wide) as co-editor.

Fr Glynn has also been involved in various groups and ministries within the Archdiocese, including a Personal Advocacy Group, the Professional Standards Resource Group for the Province of WA, Catholic Education WA as theological Advisor for religious educational materials, a member of the Council of Priests, and the Archbishop’s member of the Council of John XXIII College in Mt Claremont.

Fr Glynn said he was pleased to respond to Archbishop Costelloe’s call in his new role as Episcopal Vicar and to assist in the work of the diocese within the Archbishop’s office.

“I hope to enable people to meet the person of Jesus, to build on that curiosity through the use of Scripture, community living, parish involvement and the celebration of the Sacraments,” Fr Glynn added.

“Adult Faith Formation should deepen a person’s relationship with Christ, so that they will take that relationship and live it out in their daily lives. The education component builds on this relationship formed with Jesus through the ministry of the Church.

“Adult formation is much broader than just education into what the Church teaches and knows, it is about forming a person to become a Christian, to become a disciple of Christ and to give them the foundation that enables them to be a Christian in the world,” he concluded.

From pages 12 to 13 of Issue 27: Adult Faith Formation in the context of Healing’ of The Record Magazine