Seminarians start year with consecration to Mary

12 Mar 2009

By The Record

Sydney seminary opens 2009 with consecration to Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Help of Christians.                          



From left to right: Stephen Varney, Lewi Barakat, Mark Aarts, Christian Stephens, Matthew Hodgson, Nathan Lunardi and Daniel Davila. Of these seminarians, Matthew Hodgson is on for Perth, Stephen Varney for Wollongong, and the rest are for Sydney.



By Dominic Nguyen

Cardinal George Pell opened the new year with a special Mass for Sydney’s Seminary of the Good Shepherd that includes seven new seminarians under the guidance of new rector Fr Anthony Percy and vice rector Fr John Greig.
This Mass served as a means for the existing seminarians to renew their commitment to God for the coming year, and to welcome our new seminarians. 
Of the first year novitiates, five entered for the Archdiocese of Sydney, along with one for the Diocese of Wollongong and another for the Archdiocese of Perth. 
This has raised the total number of seminarians in the college to 44.  In addition, a further five seminarians who are in various stages of their formation are expected to join the seminary community later in the year.
The highlight of the first week was the seminarians’ Pilgrimage to St Mary’s Cathedral on February 11, marking an anniversary of Our Lady’s appearance at Lourdes. 
In honouring this special occasion, a Mass was celebrated at Our Lady’s Chapel by Cardinal Pell, which included a consecration to Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Help of Christians, to encourage a deep connection and reliance upon the maternal love and protection of our spiritual Mother.
The seminary opening week culminated in the seminarians’ visit to the Cathedral for Vespers and Mass with Cardinal Pell on February 15. 
The evening was given added significance with the presentation of the Catholic Youth Services team for 2009, who themselves provide “wonderful support for the Catholic community in their pastoral work within the Archdiocese of Sydney”, Fr Percy said.