Catholic Vocations
Archdiocese of Melbourne
Diocesan Priesthood Testimonies

Archbishop Denis Hart

archbishophartthumbNearly forty-four years after priestly ordination I have never ceased to wonder at the nearness and love of God and what He asks us to do. I am conscious of His protecting and forgiving love, as I have sought to be the instrument of that love, teaching and goodness to people.

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv

I was born in 1961. The desire to become a priest began when I was 13, living in one of the most turbulent periods of my country's history. My parents being refugees from Communist North Vietnam were forced to move from one place to another. Then the war and its terrible effects, the escape by boat, the experience of living in a refugee camp and that of settling in a new country all played a significant part in my vocation journey. They all contributed to the birth and growth of my strong desire to alleviate suffering and to help people who suffer. Eventually, it was a matter of choosing what option in life which would best enable me to realize this desire.

Father Binh Le

fr-binh-115I entered the seminary after working for a few years as an engineer. I saw myself as a normal individual, not unduly pious and very much in love with life. I was not fleeing the world because the world as I knew it was full of real attractions. I was not seeking a refuge because I did not feel the need of one. I had no illusions about what I was leaving behind and I was not without hesitation when I thought of the future. Our current society of materialism and individualism and the current sexual abuses in the Church make it even more discouraging to anyone considering the priesthood. Why would anyone want to become a Catholic priest?

Rev Fr Simon Grainger

Rev Fr Simon Grainger was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Melbourne by Most Rev Denis Hart, Archbishop, in St Patrick's Cathedral on Friday evening, 28th July 2013 - the Feast of Ss Peter and Paul. 

Fr Anthony Denton

Testimony of Fr Anthony Denton, formerly Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Melbourne

Writing the history of one’s vocation is not an easy thing to do, because in the words of Pope John Paul II, a vocation is gift and mystery. On the one hand it is mysterious, almost elusive so that when we think we have grasped it we realize that there is so much more that we don’t understand. Faced with the reality of a supernatural call from God to serve him, we flounder with its implications for our life.

Fr Dishan Candappa

I was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and migrated to Australia with my parents and three siblings at the age of 15. I attended Christian Brother's College St Kilda. Then I studied at Monash University, qualifying as a Civil Engineer. My association with Monash continued for another four years while I completed post-graduate studies (PhD) and worked as a Research Assistant and tutor. Yet I felt a call to the priesthood from an early age.

Fr Franco Cavarra PP

francocavarra_115In February 2007 Father Franco Cavarra was appointed as Creative Director for Stations of the Cross, one of the key events for World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney.

Prior to his ordination in 1998, Fr Cavarra was a freelance stage director of opera and drama as well as a lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts.  A graduate of the University of Melbourne, he has directed opera locally and internationally, including productions at the Sydney Opera House.

The Stations of the Cross was a powerful re-enactment of the passion and death of Jesus Christ through the heart of Sydney.  A centrepiece event of WYD08, it was seen by several hundred thousand people along the route on Friday 18 July 2008.

Fr Cavarra is parish priest of St Christopher's Airport West, a large multicultural parish in Melbourne's north-western suburbs. He is also one of the founding members of the longstanding Melbourne International Festival.  "I believe that the way of the Cross undertaken by Jesus can be an enduring and inspiring parable for the journey of life for many of us," Father Cavarra said.

Fr Cavarra shares with us his vocation story:

Fr Karmel Borg

Fr Karmel Borg was born in Malta, the third of 12 children. Malta was the island where St Paul was shipwrecked as he was being transported to Rome as a prisoner. As a result the Maltese regard St Paul as their father in the faith. A church has been built at the place where St Paul instructed the Maltese in the Christian faith - that church was where the young Karmel was baptized, made his first Holy Communion and served at Mass for many years. It is where his vocation to the Priesthood was born, nourished and grew.

Father Joe McMahon

I decided to become a priest one Spring afternoon in 1973. I had visited a student priest at a seminary. Coming home on the bus, I was overcome with a joyous feeling that this is what I have always wanted to do with my life. When I finally told my family they were delighted.

Read also a tribute on the occasion of Fr Joe's Golden Jubilee of Priesthood.

Fr Nicholas Pearce

Before his ordination in September 2010, Fr Nicholas Pearce was featured in The Age's Good Weekend Magazine in December 2009.

It was 38 degrees, the middle of a scorching Roman summer, and the three million pilgrims attending World Youth Day in August 2000 had plunged the ancient city into chaos. Inside St Peter’s Basilica, a noisy crowd was being herded through like cattle. Hardly the conditions, one would have thought, for a private spiritual experience. But, as Nicholas Pearce passed in front of the high altar, he saw a space open up at the barricade. “I knelt down and prayed. It was at that moment that I felt something within myself saying, ‘I want you to be a priest.’ I don’t know whether it was a voice … but I felt this great sense of peace.”

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