Sydney’s Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Homebush has this year had the biggest intake of seminarians in its history, with 17 men answering the call to the Church and its ministry. Source: The Catholic Weekly.
It’s almost 40 years since 17 entered Good Shepherd’s predecessor seminary, St Patrick’s College at Manly.
Among the 2023 intake, five have come from overseas. While the admission of overseas seminarians is not unprecedented, the proportion of those who were born in Australia – baptised either as Roman or Eastern Catholics – is.
Another first is the number of new seminarians from the Australia’s Eastern eparchies.
Good Shepherd has never seen five signing up to undertake priestly formation from the Maronite Catholic Eparchy, the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy and the Syro Malabar Eparchy.
Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP said the willingness of young men to consider entering Holy Orders is a sign that there is much hope in the future of the Church in Australia.
He said the late Cardinal George Pell had had a significant impact on the numbers now entering the seminary due to the courage he exhibited as a formidable pastoral leader amidst a society that has become increasingly hostile to Christ and his Church.
Aged between 22 and 41, the new seminarians are from the dioceses of Sydney, Wollongong, Canberra-Goulburn, Armidale and Hobart.
Super Seventeen enter Sydney Seminary (By Debbie Cramsie, The Catholic Weekly)