Perth young clergy learn from wisdom of the ages
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe speaks during a meeting with clergy ordained 10 years or less. Photo: Matthew Lau.
By Jamie O’Brien
Perth priests ordained less than 10 years ago have this week gathered to meet with Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB and listen to the wisdom and insights of three experienced priests.
On the feast day of St John Vianney, Tuesday 4 August, Archbishop Costelloe thanked the priests for their dedication, particularly during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ballajura Parish Priest Fr John Jegorow speaks Fr Israel Quirit and York Parish Priest, Fr Chris Webb. Photo: Matthew Lau.
“Pope Francis has said that the role of the bishop is to teach and pray, and so I also take this opportunity to greet you and thank you,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“In his catechism on prayer in this morning’s Office of Readings, St John Vianney says that man has a noble task, that of prayer and love. And we do this for the good of the people of our Archdiocese,” he said.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe and Cloverdale Parish Priest Fr Michael Quynh Do share recent experiences during a meeting with clergy ordained 10 years or less. Photo: Matthew Lau.
The idea for the meeting was borne following the results of a recent survey in which the younger generation clergy responded their biggest need for advice was in the area of pastoral practise.
In response, a small advisory team was formed to discuss the feedback and as a result Monsignor Tim Corcoran, now retired, Ballajura Parish Priest Fr John Jegorow and Banksia Grove Parish Priest Fr Vinh Dong were invited to form a panel of experienced priests.
Vicar for Clergy, Fr Brian McKenna, speaks during a meeting with clergy ordained 10 years or less. Photo: Matthew Lau.
The Small Advisory Team consists of Vicar for Clergy, Fr Brian McKenna, Armadale Parish Administrator, Fr Mark Baumgarten, Cloverdale Parish Priest, Fr Michael Quynh Do,
Kalgoorlie Assistant Priest Fr Stephen Gorddard, Cathedral Assistant Priests, Fr Garner Vergara and Fr CJ Millen and Goomalling Parish Administrator Fr Patrick Toohey.
Fr Vinh Dong, Fr John Jegorow and Mgr Tim Corcoran share their wisdom and insights during a meeting with clergy ordained 10 years or less. Photo: Matthew Lau.
The meeting, which took place at the LJ Goody Bioethics Centre, allowed the experienced priests to offer some of the best insight and advice they received or would have appreciated receiving in hindsight in the early years of their priesthood.
In introducing the three experienced priests, Vicar for Clergy, Fr Brian McKenna, told the younger generation priests that the meeting is the perfect opportunity to tap into the wisdom of the ages.
“This is a special opportunity which we hope to continue expanding on,” Fr McKenna said.
Banksia Grove Parish Priest Fr Vinh Don shares his experiences during a meeting with clergy ordained 10 years or less. Photo: Matthew Lau.
Key advice shared by Mgr Corcoran, Fr John Jegorow and Fr Vinh Dong included:
- Take an interest in people (Mgr Tim Corcoran)
- Learn to be patient with all people (Mgr Tim Corcoran)
- Don’t put too many messages in your homily; a good homily should be no more than five or six minutes (Mgr Tim Corcoran)
- Learn to love the people you with whom you are celebrating the Eucharist (Fr John Jegorow)
- Think positively about people and try to love them; particularly during the Eucharist (Fr John Jegorow)
- Be involved in the life of the people and do your best to understand their lives (Fr John Jegorow)
- Be yourself and learn the importance of relationships (Fr Vinh Dong)
- Understand the people around you; share your different backgrounds and experiences (Fr Vinh Dong)
- Be a brother priest and get to know one another; we are on the same path (Fr Vinh Dong)
Following the experiences of the three experienced priests, the younger generation were able to engage in an extended Q&A session and shared lunch.