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Dear Friends in Christ,

Just over a week ago, I had the joy of ordaining two new priests for our Diocese: Fathers Cong Van Hoang and Duong Van Ha. These men, like all our priests are not, as the Gospel today reminds us, merely “hired hands.” They have generously offered their lives to share in the work of the Good Shepherd. 

Every Christian has his or her part to play in the mission entrusted to the Church; and the dignity of each vocation is enhanced in appreciating more deeply the specific service of each one. Today, we give thanks for the unique and irreplaceable gift of the ordained priesthood, which does not exist for itself, but to serve the pilgrim Church. It is both an awesome call and, properly understood, a humble office.

For Catholics, this is a day not only to pray and give thanks for the priests who generously serve us, but to recommit ourselves to supporting them. This means a willingness to be generous in our own service, working with them for the Church and her mission. It also means playing our part in ensuring that their modest material needs are cared for.

Each year, we also make a collection on this day to help meet the expenses of training future priests. In the old days, the expenses of educating seminarians were met by their families. These days, we accept that this is a responsibility to be shared by the whole local church.

At the moment, our Diocese has five young men at various stages of formation and discernment. You can contribute to their support either through your own parish, or click this link.

Please pray for the priests we have, for those who are preparing for ordination; and for those whom the Lord is calling to leave everything and follow him.


Yours in Christ,
+Michael McKenna
Bishop of Bathurst

To make a donation to the Good Shepherd Sunday Giving Appeal please click this link