Holy Spirit Seminary Queensland is a Catholic seminary located in Banyo, Brisbane. The seminary is instituted to form men in becoming Catholic Priests.
Operating as usual
“[T]hrough him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5).
As we head towards Advent, many of us have gone out to our end of year Advent Pastoral Placement in parishes across the Province. Some of us will commence holidays in preparation for a full year of formative Parish Pastoral Placement in 2021 which will begin in January. And four of us have by now been ordained as Deacons, beginning in them the overflow of seminary formation into the life of the Church which cascades into parishes, schools, hospitals, prisons, aged care homes, indeed, into the lives of the People of God.
As a result, the frequency of Facebook posts on our page here will decrease in the coming weeks and months as our 2020 Social Media Team departs the Seminary. A new Social Media Team will recommence more regular postings from February 2021. Until then, we will attempt to still provide brief postings of key events in our lives. However, as we too will be on holidays, we expect fewer postings, especially after Christmas and until all Seminarians return in early February 2021.
Before we sign off, we would encourage you to invite all of your friends to like the Seminary page. By doing so, you will radically amplify the collaborative reach we can all achieve via social media into the hearts and homes of many. Their presence on our page as followers and friends would be very welcome.
We want to take this time to thank you for following, supporting and participating in our page this year. We attempted to be for you a light which shines into the life of the Seminary community. Our aim this year was to provide you with genuine, real, authentic, joyful, and comprehensive insights into what happens inside our community.
We wanted also to dispel some of the opaqueness which can sometimes arise with respect to the wider community’s perception of Seminary life. Most importantly, we wanted to share with you that our journey truly is a formative and transformative one.
The four dimensions of human, pastoral, spiritual and intellectual formation are comprehensively engaged in by all of us as Seminarians. We have shared aspects of our everyday lives showcasing that our formation, including our allocated everyday community ministries, seeks not to distinguish us, but to prepare us for future ordained ministry which is truly humble, service-orientated, people-focused, and which enables us to meet and encounter all people wherever they may be in their own journey; because their journey is our journey – the Christian journey with the Risen Christ as a true companion, brother, and friend.
We hope our Facebook posts have demonstrated that in the everyday experiences of our lives - just as in the everyday experiences of the lives of all people - the true lumen gentium, the true light of the nations, the Risen Christ, shines out into the darkness and will not be overcome.
Thank you for your support and encouragement in 2020.
God bless you, all your families and all those dear to you.
It is with great excitement that Ashwin Acharya will be ordained to the Order of Deacons for the diocese of Rockhampton this afternoon. As a Deacon, Ashwin will lead a life of service and ministry for the church and the people of God.
The live stream will begin this afternoon at 12noon from St Joseph’s Cathedral, Rockhampton (Queensland time).
Please pray for Ashwin as he goes out into parish ministry living out the service of the Gospel. https://youtu.be/bALPXf7a43Y
You are joining in with us at the YouTube channel of St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Rockhampton, the seat of the Diocese of Rockhampton, Australia. As a community o...
“Tomorrow Francis, Jack and William will be ordained to the Order of Deacons.
The Diaconate embodies Jesus’ call to service and ministry.
Due to COVID, the numbers have been restricted. Despite these hurdles, the seminary would like to invite you to the Live Stream tomorrow at 10 am (Brisbane time).
Please pray for these men as they go out into their parishes and live as disciples in the service of the Gospel.”
brisbanecatholic.org.au Watch live web casts of Mass and other events streamed from the Cathedral of St Stephen.
The men on their year-long Pastoral Placement have completed their 30-day silent retreat.
The silent retreat is an opportunity to reflect on the placement and to prepare for Candidacy.
Candidacy for Orders is a public ceremony that signifies the individual’s commitment to the journey of the priesthood.
We continue to hold the guys in prayer as they take another important step forward.
Yesterday the seminarians were fortunate enough to play a game of soccer with some of the young men of the Emmanuel Community.
The seminarians played well, but were outshined by the class and skills of the Emmanuel 'Black & Blues'.
We thank the men for coming out to play and look forward to the future games ahead in preparation for the Interseminary Soccer Tournament.
Last night marked our bi-annual Talent Quest night.
We had a wide range of acts and videos that displayed the comedic and creative side of the seminary.
Congratulations to all our contestants.
Here are a few photos from our night.
Francis, William and Jack have now been accepted to the Order of Deacons for the Archdiocese of Brisbane.
Congratulations to them for their perseverance and fidelity throughout the formation process.
As Deacons, these men will begin the life long commitment of following Christ and embodying the Gospel message.
We pray for all Deacons around the world and especially those that serve within our communities.
Bishop Timothy J Harris
Thank you for all your birthday wishes yesterday. I had a wonderful day at the Holy Spirit Seminary Queensland talking to the 6th Year Seminarians. They even had a cake for me. I was presented with a very special 130 year anniversary stole from St Joseph's Nudgee College by members of the leadership team.
Congratulations to Ashwin who has been accepted to the Order of Deacons for the diocese of Rockhampton.
Bishop Michael McCarthy graciously received Ashwin last week. Ashwin has been a phenomenal member of our community and we wish him all the best in his future ministry. Ashwin is due to be ordained sometime mid-November.
God Bless you Ashwin.
Photo retrieved from
Many people are becoming aware of the amount of plastic waste produced by society. As a response and commitment to the ongoing care of the planet, the seminary has put some new waste disposable procedures in place.
Here is a photo of Peter and Matt preparing to drop off our 'Containers for Change QLD.’ Every bit counts!
We pray for our common home. May the Lord help us to grow in awareness of our role in this world.
One of the many great communities of the Brisbane Archdiocese is the people at Emmanuel City Mission.
Emmanuel City Mission is an organisation committed to supporting and caring for the homeless and vulnerable of Brisbane city. Their mission is to connect homeless and vulnerable people with people who care; increasing trust and decreasing loneliness.
Most recently, the team in South Brisbane called for assistance regarding tinned goods. Our seminarian Isaac responded by personally delivering a few of our collected items.
We continue to hold in prayer Emmanuel City Mission and all those doing good work in the name of Christ.
If you didn't know, the Seminary has chickens. Some of the guys spent a few hours earlier in the month cleaning and reorganising the chicken coop. The Seminary would also like to welcome some new chicks to the fold.
Here are some photos of the Spring clean.
Prayer forms a large part of the communal engagements. Last week one of our men led Evening Prayer for the first time. The leading of prayer is one of the many small steps the seminarians take on the journey to leading the whole community in the prayer life of the Parish. Isaac also shared a small reflection on the scriptural reading for the day.
The men in their Configuration phase went to the second of their scrutinies at Ormiston earlier in the week. The men were graced with the presence of Fr Gary Walker SSC, and Fr Frank Jones. The scrutiny is an opportunity for the men to reflect deeply on the life of which they are about to enter. We give special thanks to the staff of the Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre for their hospitality and friendly welcome.
COVID has made spaces like these familiar to many. Some of our students are fortunate enough to be at the feet of Emeritus Professor Robert Gascoigne learning about Moral Theology. Professor Gascoigne provides an informative observation of the different aspects of Moral Theology accessible to all people. We thank you, Professor Gascoigne and all the other lecturers that take the time and effort to teach us and those around us.
Sunday afternoon saw the seminarians participating in soccer training in preparation for next years competition. The students are dedicated to learning the basics and exploring new skills and tricks in order to develop their game mindset. Although they may not be the next Juventus, their spirit and openness make the sport an exciting and adventurous activity.
This evening we began the ‘last stretch‘ of your 2020 seminary year - what a year it’s been!
We said goodbye to three of our pastoral placement students as they journey to South Australia for their 30-day silent retreat. Please keep them in your prayers.
The ‘last stretch’ is always exciting because it’s filled with multiple transitions. Some of our men are in preparation for ordination. Others are preparing for their year-long pastoral placements, and everyone else is about to venture out for Advent placements.
Before any of it happens, the 'last stretch' occurs. We hope you are all finishing strong in a year that has thrown many curveballs.
We give thanks for Fr Paul Chandler O'Carm., and for his faithful service amongst the Holy Spirit Seminary community!
God richly bless you, Fr Paul
The Catholic Leader
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Guardian Angels. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, whom we are slowly becoming acquainted with this Semester, has this to say:
"Let the Lord be thanked for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humanity. Let the nations praise him and say that the Lord has done great things for them.
Lord, what is man that you make so much of him, that you set your mind upon him? You set your mind upon him, you are solicitous for him, you care for him. Indeed, you send your only Son to him, you infuse your Spirit, you promise him the sight of your countenance. And that no being in heaven may rest from the work of caring for us, you send those blessed spirits to minister to us, you assign them to watch over us, you bid them be our guardians... They are present, and present to you, not merely accompanying you but watching over you. They are present in order to protect you, in order to help you.
Nevertheless, though it is he who gave them this charge, we should not be ungrateful to them, for they obey with such love and help us in such great need. Let us then be devoted and grateful to such guardians; let us return their love and honour them as much as we can and ought. But let all our love and honour be referred to him from whom alone both we and they derive whatever enables us to show love and honour, or become worthy of love and honour ourselves.
In him, therefore, let us love his angels with sincere affection."
- 18th-century rendition of a guardian angel, from Wikipedia
The Seminary community wishes to acknowledge the dedication and hard work shown by Toowoomba seminarian, Brian Redondo in making a serious and dedicated effort to obtain a Queensland Driver Licence.
While Brian already has an overseas licence, as a seminarian committed to a future in the Diocese of Toowoomba, Brian's committment to regular driving lessons, tests and preparations is a recognition that the faith and trust placed in him by the Diocese, especially the Bishop and all the people, should be responded to in such a way that he is fully ready and available to go where he is needed and called.
Ministry in the Diocese of Toowoomba requires a lot of driving, especially given the long distances between local towns and regional centers. Brian will be well prepared for that which awaits him in the dynamic interaction in ministering in multiple locations in the vastness of the Diocese.
The Seminary community also recognises and thanks Minje Kim who has assisted Brian by accompanying him on his driving practice. Minje's kind acts of fraternity will be a happy legacy that Brian and the People of God in Toowoomba will benefit from for many years to come.
Please feel free to send Brian a note of congratulations and encouragement below.
Please continue to keep Brian, Minje and all the staff and students of Holy Spirit Seminary in your prayers.
All seminarians here at Holy Spirit Seminary are allocated various duties to assist with the smooth running of our community life and in preparation for our life of co-responsibility in our dioceses and parishes.
Sang Duc Bui, in his third year of seminary residency, has this year happily accepted the responsibility for daily mail collection from the Seminary PO Box at the nearby Banyo Australia Post Outlet.
While other seminarians are enjoying a lazy breakfast, or, more hopefully, preparing for the day's formation schedule, Sang makes the journey down to Australia Post, collects the many letters, parcels and cards that arrive each day and then returns to the Seminary office, distributing mail to each of his fellow seminarians' personal internal 'pigeon-hole' and the staff mail to Carmel and Marina in the Seminary office.
Sang undertakes this service joyfully, recognizing that daily mail collection for the Seminary community may well be for him the image and anticipation of one day saying Daily Mass for a parish community.
Please keep Sang and all the staff and students of Holy Spirit Seminary in your prayers.
As part of our Spiritual Dimension of formation here at Holy Spirit Seminary, all seminarians, ably guided by Spiritual Director Fr Paul Chander O'Carm, are this semester reading 'On Loving God' by St Bernard of Clairvaux.
One of the most delightful and widely read spiritual classics, it stands well placed in the tradition of the early Church Doctors, being inspired in part by the letters of St Augustine.
Most recently, in Chapter VII, paragraphs 19 & 20, we encounter the reflection that whoever might desire the greatest good can succeed in reaching it if first they gain of all possessions short of that good itself, as then only the greatest good would remain to be desired.
But, Bernard reflects, this is impossible for the human person with our short lives, weak strength and the competition for what humans think is desirable is too keen. Instead, that which we should desire is goodness itself, with this being at once also beauty and truth itself, or, in short, God.
God, therefore is the reason for desiring, for loving God, for that which is the truth itself, goodness itself, beauty itself is beyond all considered good things, all considered beautiful things, all considered truthful things.
We invite you therefore to continue this spiritual journey with us as we continue to read together as a community 'On Loving God', so that, in drawing the richness of this wisdom from Bernard, we might each day live out the reality of it in communion with each other and all the world.
You can access a free version of 'On Loving God' online at this website address: https://www.pathsoflove.com/bernard/on-loving-god.html
The journey of one discerning God’s call to the Priesthood is one of drawing close – or being drawn close – to the Lord Jesus, being patterned after his own likeness, and learning how to make the Risen One present to all whom they meet, especially through the ministry of Word and Sacrament. This formation journey is marked with significant junctures which help to confirm and consolidate one’s steps along the way.
Last night, nine of our Seminarians made significant steps in their vocational journeys. We were joined by Bishop Robert McGuckin from the Diocese of Toowoomba for a special Mass of Institution. Five men were instituted to the Ministry of Lector – Peter Doherty of Rockhampton, BJ Perrett and Dominic Jayasuriya of Toowoomba, and Michael Tran and Sang Duc Bui of Brisbane. Four men, having already received the Ministry of Lector earlier in their journeys, were instituted to the Ministry of Acolyte – Matthew Popovic, Thomas Popovic and Bradley Davies of Brisbane, and William Brennan of Townsville. The celebration was a joyous one, with some family and friends of the newly instituted Lectors and Acolytes joining us for Mass and for dinner in Xavier Hall.
We are grateful for the constant prayers and support that we receive from you as we seek to follow Jesus more closely each day. In the words of prayers of institution, may we be faithful to the work entrusted to us, meditating constantly on God’s Word, that we may grow in wisdom and faithfully proclaim Christ to the world; and may we be faithful in serving at God’s altar and in giving to others the bread of life and the cup of salvation. In this way, may God give increase to all people, in faith and love, and so build up the Church. Amen.
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