Two newly ordained local boys lead 2009 Summer School of Evangelisation
By Mario Borg
Two recently ordained Missionary of God’s Love priests returned home to Western Australia to join Glendalough’s Fr Doug Harris in spiritually directing the Disciples of Jesus Covenant Community’s annual Summer School of Evangelisation, held at New Norcia last week.
Fr Daniel Strickland and Fr David Callaghan were ordained at St Christopher’s Cathedral in Canberra last December and both said they felt somewhat strange ministering as priests after at least 10 years attending the Summer Schools as participants.
Over 80 participants attended the week long retreat which delivered lecture series on subjects as diverse as Scripture, the lives of the Saints, Church teaching on life issues and Catholic apologetics presented by the two priests, MGL Sister Rosie Drum, and Richard Egan and Laura Firth – both lecturers at Perth’s only Catholic Bible College, Acts 2 College of Mission and Evangelisation. Guest lecturers included highly regarded religious educator, Paul Kelly from Aquinas College, local Catholic School teachers Mark Ratajczak and Daniel O’Connor and biostatistician, Martin Firth.Archbishop Hickey gave his address towards the end of the School and encouraged all within religious organisations to enter more fully into a spirit of loving each other and to refrain as much as possible from the temptation of criticism and negativity towarsd others.
Participants offered a pledge to the Archbishop that they would grow in their commitment to their faith and of serving the Church. The Summer School provided an environment where each participant was encouraged to engage in the various forms of prayer that were available including daily Mass and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, praise and worship, and Rosary walks. Personal encounters with God were evident among most and led to several of the participants announcing their intention to join the Youth Mission Team – an outreach organisation that runs retreats in schools – with others declaring a willingness to explore their vocation to consecrated life.