OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Vocations flourish in Australia’s Catholic communities: Church commitment in the new millennium

Monday, 14 March 2005

Sydney (Fides Service) - Vocations are flourishing in the ‘newest of the continents’ after a drop in vocations in the mid 1990s. Today the number of students in seminaries continues to rise, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference told Fides with regard to the situation in seminaries all over the country.
Seminaries in all the dioceses of Australia are admitting ever higher numbers of students. Good Shepherd Seminary in Sydney has 42 resident students, the highest number in recent years and a motive for great hope for the future. Another seminary in the same Archdiocese of Sydney is Redemptoris Mater Seminary opened by the Neo Catechumen Way church movement, where there are 50 students from various countries including sixteen new candidates to the priesthood admitted this year.
Other dioceses are registering increase in vocations. For example many more young people are being drawn to the priesthood in Wagga Wagga diocese. The Seminary has formed 25 priests some now working today in the diocese and others in various parts of Australia. This year the seminary welcomed 7 new students. Perth Seminary has 22 students and Melbourne seminary has two new students this year. The seminary community continues to grow, vocations director Fr Paul Stuart, told Fides particularly among university students.
This tendency is promising for the future of the Australian Church and society in the years ahead. Local Catholic sources say the increase in vocations is a fruit of renewed and intensified youth pastoral which has been a priority for Church in Australia in the last decade.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 14/3/2005 righe 22 parole 223)