St Charles and Vocations Office collaborate to support those discerning

01 Jun 2024

By The Record

Vocations Afternoon Tea 2024
Fr Kenneth Acosta shares his experience, Sunday 19 May at the Vocations Afternoon Tea. Photo: Michelle Tan.

The call to the priesthood has been renewed once again with a Vocations Afternoon Tea, Sunday 19 May.

The Afternoon Tea was held following a well-attended Enquiry Day at St Charles Seminary on Sunday 5 May 2025, with those attending invited to spend an afternoon of spiritual discussions with St Charles Seminary Rector, Fr Francis Nguyen, Vice-Rector, Fr Joe Laundy and Vocations Office Spiritual Director, Fr Kenneth Acosta.

The event is part of a series of ongoing engagement aimed to support those who are discovering how to answer God’s call to serve others, through ordained ministry.

Men from across Perth to discern their vocation and hear the experience of Vocations Office Spiritual Director, Fr Kenneth Acosta, Sunday 19 May. Photo: Michelle Tan.

Fr Kenneth shares his Vocations journey

Addressing the attendees, Fr Kenneth spoke about the essence of vocations, emphasising that a vocation is a call to partake in life fully, embracing both our passions and faults.

In sharing his own experience, Fr Kenneth highlighted his own call, which he felt as early as nine years old.

Despite his aspirations for a conventional life with a career and relationships, he acknowledged the persistent pull towards priesthood, pursuing studies in business administration and English studies.

Belonging to the Neocatechumenal Way in his hometown of the Dominican Republic, Fr Kenneth found his faith and the clarity he was looking for.

Men from across Perth attended the Afternoon Tea, following a successful Enquiry Day in early May at St Charles Seminary. Photo: Michelle Tan.

At 21, during a World Youth Day meeting in Rome, Fr Kenneth publicly accepted his possible calling to the priesthood, which soon lead him to commence his studies at Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Perth.

Fr Kenneth shared that his journey was not always clear, but with humility and guidance from spiritual advisors and his community, he found his path.

He encouraged those in attendance who are learning how to also answer God’s call to support one another in their vocational journeys, stressing the importance of community, support from the Vocations Office, the Curia, and St Charles Seminary, and regular meetings for mutual encouragement.

In his concluding remarks, Fr Kenneth urged everyone to embrace their unique callings and serve others selflessly, as true fulfillment and happiness come from giving oneself to others.

St Charles Seminary Rector, Fr Francis Nguyen answers questions during the Vocations Afternoon Tea, Sunday 19 May. Photo: Michelle Tan.

Spiritual discussions further explore life as a priest

Following Fr Kenneth’s address, the 20 men who attended the Vocations Afternoon Tea split into two smaller groups – where they spent 45minutes with Fr Francis and Fr Joe – to ask questions about discernment into ordained ministry and life as a priest.

The intimate discussions explored many aspects of the priesthood journey.

St Charles Seminary Rector, Fr Joseph Laundy answers questions during the Vocations Afternoon Tea, Sunday 19 May. Photo: Michelle Tan.

Next steps for those discerning

Before the participants enjoyed a one-hour tour with volunteer Cathedral guide, Carol Wright, Fr Kenneth shared how the Perth Vocations Office and St Charles Seminary is supporting anyone who would like to find out more about the discernment process and/or continuing to journey into answering this unique call from God.

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