St Finbar's Glenbrook Parish

A band of brothers on the path to priesthood


Commencement of the Holy Spirit Seminary Year 2015 News Story
With the seminarians and deacons are Rector Rev Fr John Hogan, Very Rev Peter Williams and Vice Rector Rev Fr Chris de Souza.
Photography: Alphonsus Fok

A band of brothers gathered with the faithful in St Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday 22 February for the start of the seminary year. Fourteen men in formation for the priesthood in the Diocese of Parramatta at Holy Spirit Seminary joined their Rector, Rev Fr John Hogan, and the Diocesan Administrator, Very Rev Peter Williams, for the 11am Mass.

In coming months, the seminarians will move into new residential accommodation at Holy Spirit Seminary at Harris Park. Built in the 1880s in the Victorian Italianate style, Kenilworth House was purchased by the Diocese of Parramatta and restored to become the seminary’s new home after an increase in vocations meant it had outgrown premises at St Marys.

Kenilworth houses the public areas of the seminary: offices, chapel, lecture rooms, library, kitchen and dining room. The new accommodation will have separate ensuite bedrooms, kitchenette, laundry and recreation facilities.

Meet the new seminarians who have entered this year:

Jack Elkazzi

Jack Elkazzi, 34, is a Lebanese Maronite Catholic. A qualified mechanic, Jack grew up in Sydney and went to Canterbury Boys’ High School.

Jack is the youngest of three children. His parents raised their children to have a love for Jesus and Mary. Yet it wasn’t until World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney that Jack began to really appreciate the Catholic faith.

“Whilst attending World Youth Day I felt a sense of family, community, united in the love of the Holy Spirit and I wanted to know about my faith,” Jack said.

“I started reading on devotion to the most Holy Mother of God and prayed my rosary often and eventually attended daily Mass. These devotions gave me a deeper love of Christ and His Church.

“Ever since then I have been discerning my vocation to the priesthood and along the way I have met beautiful priests and religious who have been a tremendous help in my discernment.

“My experience in the Diocese of Parramatta and Holy Spirit Seminary has been one of welcome, love and a sense of family.”

Jessie Duan Balorio

Jessie Duan Balorio comes from Cebu in the Philippines and has lived in Australia since 2010. He has three brothers and four sisters.

Jessie has been on a journey of vocational discernment since 2000. This has included eight years of priestly formation in the Philippines. He has also earned a Bachelor of Arts with a major in philosophy from the University of San Agustin-Ilo-Ilo, Philippines, and a Bachelor of Theology from the Catholic Institute of Sydney (CIS).

Jessie is currently completing the new Bachelor of Ministry, also at CIS.

Jessie hopes to serve the Diocese of Parramatta and prays that God will allow his gifts to blossom for the good of His Church; the care of His people and to give a fuller expression to his baptismal consecration.

George Stanton

George Stanton (19) was born and bred in the Hills district. The eldest of three children, George attended schools including St Madeleine’s Primary, Kenthurst, William Clarke College and Redfield College.

George graduated from Redfield College just last year but has been discerning the possibility of exploring a vocation to the priesthood for several years.

He was guided and encouraged by his parents; Rev Fr Warren Edwards, Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Rouse Hill; teachers and Rev Fr Felix Navarro, Redfield chaplain.

After much prayer and thought, George applied to join Holy Spirit Seminary.

“I am very much looking forward to beginning my priestly formation this year, and to continue striving to seek God’s will for me under the sure guidance of the Holy Spirit,” he said.

Please keep our seminarians in your prayers: Chris del Rosario, Paul Griffin, Jack Green, Joe Murphy, Kennedy Anyanwu, Andrew Rooney, Evans Mary Onah, Shinto Francis, Adam Carlow, Matthew Dimian, Galbert Albino, Jack Elkazzi, Jessie Duan Balorio and George Stanton.

Transitional deacons 'Thomas' Bui Thien Hien and Pio Yong Ho Jang are undertaking parish ministry in preparation for priestly ordination.

A Vocation Discernment Reflection Afternoon will take place at Holy Spirit Seminary in May. Men who would like information about priesthood in the Diocese of Parramatta are welcome to contact the Vocations Director, Fr Warren Edwards, tel 0409 172 700,

Go to Commencement of the Holy Spirit Seminary Year 2015 Photo Gallery

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