It’s somewhat challenging "to get a word in" when speaking with psychologist Dr John Barletta.
The Ducati motorcycle enthusiast, who was "born and raised just outside Bundaberg city", was "spirited" speaking on various topics and particularly about how his professional and spiritual life often overlapped.
"I knew I didn't want to be a sugar cane farmer," he said of watching his Sicilian father, Vincenzo (Vince), "work like crazy" on the family's "hundreds of acres".
Of his decision to continue study, Dr John said he "had a veracious appetite to learn".
"I wanted to do something professional," he said.
"I wanted to learn more and be in the service of others."
Completing education studies in Brisbane in the early 1980s "word went around that BCE (Brisbane Catholic Education) were looking for young men (as teachers)", Dr John said.
Active faith had been modelled by both his parents, and teaching in the Catholic system "seemed right".
"I was raised in all that ritual and the 'bells and smells' ... we were part of our local Catholic community," Dr John said.
"... So I shined my shoes, wore a suit and lined up at Catholic education.
"I became a teacher and I also was a school counsellor," he said.
"I was the first person in that blended role."
Completing a Masters in Counselling, a role taking care of "16 Catholic primary schools in the western part of Brisbane as a primary guidance councillor" eventuated.
"I had had three great years teaching and counselling within Catholic education," Dr John said of the early 1990s.
"I had been involved in counselling, psychological assessments, consultations with parents, supporting teachers and doing in-services ... I had learnt so much."
Bringing psychology into the home (Catholic Leader)