Holy Spirit Seminary Queensland

Holy Spirit Seminary Queensland is a Catholic seminary located in Banyo, Brisbane. The seminary is instituted to form men in becoming Catholic Priests.

We give to you, Sean Woods, also known as Woodsy.

Sean is currently on his year-long Pastoral Placement at Springfield Lakes. Sean's interests include reading both history and science fiction. He generally enjoys strolling around too.

One of Sean's major goals this year is to experience the ordinary pastoral life of a parish. His favourite quote is 'What is mind? No matter, what is matter? Nevermind.'

We include in our prayers all those working hard in our parishes, reaching out to those within the faith communities.

On this day, 6th May 1962, Pope John XXIII canonized Martin de Porres (1579-1639), an associate of the Dominican Order, remembered for his humility and for his charity in nursing the sick.

As the patron saint of those who seek racial harmony, St Martin de Porres is a wonderful example for our multicultural community of Holy Spirit Seminary.

With our seminarians coming from diverse cultural backgrounds, including the British Isles, Ireland, Continental Europe, Vietnam, India, The Philippines, Sri Lanka, Korea, Taiwan, Burma, Malaysia, New Zealand and others, the faces of the Seminary reflect the diversity of the face of the Church in modern Australia.

St Martin de Porres, with his own multicultural heritage and his Christian witness of encountering people from all backgrounds, is an example for both our Seminary and all the Church today.

image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons

Earlier this year, the Holy Spirit Seminary community explored the life and Christian example of St Damien of Molokai.

On this day, 4th May 1873, Fr Damien De Veuster made a decision to move permanently to the Hawaiian island of Molokai, a leper colony, where he cared for and ministered to the people who had been outcast from society due to their suffering from leprosy.

Fr Damien would himself would succumb to leprosy on 15th April 1889 having lived among and sharing the suffering of his people for sixteen years.

Pope Benedict XVI canonised Fr Damien on 11th October 2009. St Damien of Molokai's feast day is 10th May.

As we reflect on the priestly and Christian example of St Damien, we might reflect on the following:
- how are we all in the midst of suffering today?
- who are the outcasts from the world today?
- how can we all care, minister and tend to the suffering outcasts of the world today, prayerfully, materially, in our actions and in our choices?

image: https://commons.wikimedia.org

Today, the Holy Spirit Seminary community is having a Sunday Day of Reflection.

We usually have between five - seven Days of Reflection each year.

These are directed by our Seminary Spiritual Director, Fr Paul Chandler O'Carm, and they provide a wonderful opportunity to purposefully, prayerfully and intentionally reflect on an aspect of a Spiritual Theme which is dedicated for the year.

The days include directed spiritual talks, times for Scripture reflection, times for prayer and times for spiritual journal writing.

Last year, the Seminary reflected on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. This year we are reflecting on Virtues.

This Sunday, we invite everyone to join with us in the solidarity of prayer on how those virtues common to our shared baptisimal priesthood can be lived out in the reality of our own lives and so become a small part of the illumination of all the world by the light which is Christ. (cf. John 8:12)

Free image: https://unsplash.com/photos/IjQdCrknYXI

We are proud to introduce Matt Popovic, also known as Matt Pop.

Matt is currently in his Discipleship phase at the seminary. His hobbies include paintball, exercising and just having fun in general. Matt's goals in 2020: "Goals? Well, there are two out on the oval." -Matt Popovic 2020

His favourite quote comes from Teresa of Avila, which is, "patience attains all that it hopes for."

We pray that the Joy of the Gospel reigns in the lives of our priests, and all missionaries.

Today is the feast day of St Joseph the Worker:

We keep in prayer today all workers, particularly those on the front lines of the COVID19 trenches, and those currently unable to fully participate in their employment fields.

Image: Christ in the House of his Parents, 1850, by John Everett Millais

We are proud to give to you Francis Fernandes. Occasionally known to some as Sua (pronounced Fran-CIOS).

Francis is currently in his Configuration phase at the seminary and is in the process of preparing for a Master's thesis. Some of Francis' hobbies include reading, jogging and Netflix.

In 2020 Francis is simply looking to enjoy his last year of seminary formation. His favourite quote is "'i' before 'e' except after 'c.'"

Let's pray for our students around the world who are still studying, that the wisdom of the Spirit enlightens their minds.

Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Easter

"I saw the Lord before me always, did with him at my right hand, nothing can shake me. So my heart was glad, my tongue cried out with joy; my body, too, will rest in the hope that you will not abandon my soul..." (Acts 2:25 cf. Ps 16:8).

The human experience is characterised by a mixture of highs and lows, joys and sorrows, clarity and confidence as well as strange uncertainties and anxiety. It is often only in retrospect that we realise that the companion who journeyed with us through our darkest times and brought us out the other end was the Lord himself.

Jesus tells us, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning, and the end." But he is not absent in the middle! He promises to be 'with us always'. He faithfully abides with each of us, even when we are least aware of it, even when we might feel most distant from him. Jesus points the way. In fact, he himself is the way! The true path of life (cf. Jn 14:6; Ps 16:11).

Let us take heart in the consolation that the Risen One walks with us especially in these trying times. May we continue to walk the road of life together, holding each other evermore closely in prayer, leaving no one behind and taking notice of God in the small things.

Camino de Emaús, by Lelio Orsi, (1560–65).

Introducing Sang Duc Bui, in the past people have called him by his baptismal name Anthony.

Sang joined the seminary in 2018 and is currently in his Discipleship phase. Sang enjoys keeping himself occupied with reading, playing soccer and cooking.

In 2020 Sang's primary goal is to grow more deeply in relationship with the people of the community. His favourite quote comes from Pope John Paul II "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to contemplation of truth; and God..."

We continue to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life in these days.

We give to you, Thomas Popovic, one half of the Popovic duo.

Thomas is currently in his Discipleship phase at the seminary. Thomas enjoys reading a good book, admiring the beauty of nature and animals and going for a run. In 2020 Thomas is hoping to grow in creativity. Finally, his favourite motto is 'Luceat Lux Vestra" which means 'Let your light shine.'

Let's pray with Thomas for the Church in Australia as we venture through these unpredictable times.

[04/18/20]   Collect, Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday.

God of everlasting mercy,
who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast
kindle the faith of the people you have made your own,
increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed,
that all may grasp and rightly understand
in what font they have been washed,
by whose Spirit they have been reborn,
by whose Blood they have been redeemed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

As members of the Body of Christ, we have a sure hope in the salvation of God, whose mercy is great! and whose love is truly without end (cf. 1 Pet 1:3; Ps 118:2-4). Though there are many trials for us to face, we can rest secure in the love of Jesus Christ, the love by which he conquered death on the Cross. We may not see the Risen Lord in the ways one might expect, but he is among us. Beyond what the eye can see, Jesus is here caring for us through the hands of countless people who put the well-being of others before their own. Jesus is among us, breathing his Spirit into our fears and loneliness. Jesus is here with a gift that we could never find anywhere else: he is here with the gift of his peace. May we receive it, may we share it, and may we never depart from it, since the Lord never departs from us.

A panel from Duccio's Maestà, (c.1308-1311).

Introducing our only Townsville seminarian, Will Brennan. He may not have a nickname, but often gets told 'where there's a Will, there's a way.'

Will is currently in his Discipleship phase at the seminary. Some of Will's hobbies include cooking, debating and music, and in 2020 he hopes to learn more about himself and to grow deeply in blind faith with God.

Will's favourite quote comes from Cardinal John Henry Newman, "To live is to change, to be perfect is to have changed often." Let's continue to support and encourage vocations to the priesthood, especially in the diocese of Townsville.

A blessed and Holy Eastertide to you all. Whether you’ve known us for a day or journeyed with us for a lifetime, thank you for your constant support and prayers.

May the peace of the Risen Christ abide with you always.

God bless,
Holy Spirit Seminary Queensland.

"A Blessed & Holy Easter to all!"

A huge thank you to all medical staff, pastors, care-givers, educators, police, transport and supermarket workers, cleaners, volunteers and all others who help on the frontline. You truly are the hands and feet of Christ here on Earth.

“If one member suffers in the Body of Christ, which is the Church, all members suffer with that member (1 Cor 12:26). For this reason, kindness shown toward the sick and works of charity and mutual help for the relief of every kind of human want are held in special honour. Every scientific effort to prolong life and every act of care for the sick, on the part of any person, may be considered a preparation for the Gospel and a sharing in Christ's healing ministry” (General Instruction of the Pastoral Care of the Sick, 32).

May the Risen Christ who conquered suffering and death heal every broken heart and comfort us along the road of life. Amen

Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil (a special tribute to healthcare workers on Easter Sunday)
-Buda Mendes, Getty Images

We are proud to present our newest seminarian, Fhear Brian Redondo, better known as Brian.

Brian joined us from Davao City in the Philippines and is studying for the Toowoomba Diocese. He is currently in his Configuration Phase and is preparing for Diaconate Ordination soon.

Brian enjoys playing sport, a few online games, visiting the beach and most importantly, singing in the shower. In 2020 Brian is hoping to learn more English and eventually pick up driving in Australia.

Let's continue to show support to our international brothers and sisters as they learn more about the Australian way of life.

Easter Monday reflection: Life is changed, not ended.

“Through Jesus Christ our Lord; who rose victorious from the dead, and comforts us with the blessed hope of everlasting life. For to your faithful people, O Lord, life is changed, not ended…”

In these challenging times may we remember that Jesus does not remove suffering but he enters our suffering with us, most notably through his passion and death. By sharing our suffering, he transforms it and gives it meaning, changing us for the better. May the risen Christ bring us to newness of life, alleluia alleluia!

-Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1012.
-The Book of Common Prayer, The Holy Eucharist: Commemoration of the Dead.

Image: The World is Changing
-Michael Leunig, 2020

Easter Sunday Reflection:

It’s easy to talk of suffering and death, and difficult to speak of resurrection.

We know exactly what suffering is like: we’ve all had our share, large or small, and will not escape more. And even if we’ve been blessed enough not to know death up close yet, death is our landscape: by the time kids finish school it’s estimated they’ve seen 16,000 murders on TV, and 200,000 acts of violence. The coronavirus is teaching us our fragility. It’s not hard to talk about things we know so well.

But we barely have an inkling of what the risen life is like on the other side of death. Resurrection is nothing like the cycles of the seasons, or the myths of gods who return. We can speak only in metaphors and we have to be careful with how we use them. In the northern hemisphere Easter marks the beginning of Spring, but the Easter story is not a spring-time story, when plants and trees begin again in a cycle of life that has happened uncountable times. You sometimes find these spring-time metaphors in catechetical and devotional material, but interestingly the Easter liturgy generally avoids them. No, this resurrection is not a cycle of nature, not like that at all: it is something that has never happened before.

It is a real event in real history. The tomb contained a body, and then it did not. But what happened bursts through and goes beyond the bounds of history. It’s a transcendental happening, a breaking-out from the finality of death into a new mode of existence in God. How are we to imagine the life of the Risen One? Well, not at all. There is nothing truly able to be depicted, imagined, objectified, except in the most fragmentary ways. Our imagination fails, and it must fail.

That is no doubt why the Easter gospels report such different and mysterious experiences of the risen Lord. He is immaterial, he can walk through the walls of locked rooms, and yet is so material that he invites Thomas to stick his hand in his wound. His friends recognise him at once, or they don’t recognise him at all. To one he says ‘Do not touch me’; to another, ‘Put your finger here’. He is right there at the table, and then he is gone. This is the already-exalted Jesus who comes: his appearances are events, they are happenings, they are no longer like the presence of old. No longer bound to time and place, these happenings continue: the Risen One is among us always.

The great mystery of Christ’s resurrection is also the mystery of our own future.When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus came back to his former life, and you may remember that he came from the tomb wearing his grave clothes, because one day he would need them again. At Easter we celebrate something quite different, and our faith is based on it. When Jesus rose from the dead, as we heard in the Gospel today, he left his grave clothes behind him: they are useless now, for he is risen to a new life which does not end, a life in which death will be no more.

This mystery of new life is already at work in you, as it is in all of us who belong to Christ. Seeds of new life have been planted in us and are growing in ways we can barely imagine. We can *feel* death at work in us: we grow older, we get sick, we injure arms or legs, we mourn all we lose. But our faith tells us that something far more powerful than death is at work: the life that death cannot overpower. But we cannot always feel it. These workings do not impose themselves on us the way that suffering does. They are subtle, often slow, mysterious: they must be attended to and tended as they do their work for new life and new birth.

We Christians believe, and the resurrection of Christ assures us, that our journey through life leads not to death but through it: it is a journey to a new and even more wonderful birth, already begun and yet still to come. Our journey is not to the grave but to the Lord’s empty tomb, and we’re not called just to be ourselves, but to meet him and become like him.

Resurrection of Jesus, Berlin Cathedral
-Anton von Werner, 1905

If anyone is devout and a lover of God, let them enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival.
If anyone is a grateful servant, let them, rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord.
If anyone has wearied themselves in fasting, let them now receive recompense.
If anyone has laboured from the first hour, let them today receive the just reward.
If anyone has come at the third hour, with thanksgiving let them feast.
If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let them have no misgivings; for they shall suffer no loss.
If anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let them draw near without hesitation.
If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let them not fear on account of tardiness.

For the Master is gracious and receives the last even as the first;
he gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, just as to him who has laboured from the first.
He has mercy upon the last and cares for the first; to the one he gives, and to the other he is gracious.
He both honours the work and praises the intention.
Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and, whether first or last, receive your reward.

O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy!
O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day!
You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today!
The table is rich-laden; feast royally, all of you!
The calf is fatted; let no one go forth hungry!
Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness.

O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory?
Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!

For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the first-fruits of them that slept.
To him be glory and might unto ages of ages. Amen.

-An excerpt from the Paschal Homily of St John Chrysostom. It continues to be read in Orthodox churches on Easter morning.

Russian Orthodox Icon of St John Chrysostom
-Alexey Egorov, c.1908 - 1917.

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