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SPECIAL REPORT: New Vicar hopeful to bridge gaps and foster discipleship
Fr Vincent Glynn stands with Archbishop Costelloe, during the Closing Mass of the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival in December 2019. Photo: Iceberg Media/Archdiocese of Perth.
By Amanda Murthy
Father Vincent Glynn has officially commenced his role as the first Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation and a member of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Perth on July 1.
His appointment by Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB indicates the importance that the Archbishop places on these areas of ministry in the Church.
Fr Vincent will build on the good work carried out by Adult Faith Formation coordinator and Dominican Sister Margaret Scharf OP, putting in place some of the strategies outlined in the Archdiocesan Strategic Plan.
Particularly in the area of fostering a faith formation network group between the adult faith formations agencies that provide various forms of formation and education in the Archdiocese.
The former Senior Lecturer in Sacramental Theology at the Fremantle campus of the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA) took some time to share about his background, his faith journey and his vocation with The Record.
“Having worked in the areas of Adult Faith Formation and education for over 25 years, I hope to use my experience and knowledge to enable the vision of our Archbishop as expressed in Archdiocesan Strategic Plan to continue to support collaboration between the faith education agencies within the Archdiocese and, to encourage and support faith formation within parishes and communities.”
Fr Vincent Glynn with Archbishop Costelloe, during the Closing Mass of the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival in December 2019. Photo: Daniela Tan/ACBC.
Born in 1958 and the eldest of six children, Fr Vincent began school at Our Lady of Lourdes Nollamara and then enrolled as a foundation student of then new parish of St Gerard Majella in Mirrabooka.
In 1976, he began studying for the priesthood at St Charles Seminary Guildford and completed his training at St Francis Xavier Seminary in Adelaide.
Fr Glynn expressed that it was the example of ‘faith in action’ shown by his parents, parish priests and teachers that played a significant role in his faith journey, from an early age.
“My parents and family did more than just go to Church – They were always actively involved in the parish, school and church community in various ways, and helped in a very hands on way the foundation and development of St Gerard’s parish,” Fr Vincent said.
“The influence of some of teachers both at St Gerard’s and CBHS Highgate also played an important role in my faith journey and eventual vocation.”
“Then of course, there was the experience and knowledge gained during my studies and the help, support, and inspiration provided by many from the parishes I worked and lived in, particularly the Parish of Floreat/ Wembley where I lived and celebrated Mass each weekend for 19 years.
“However, the core of my faith and vocation was the experience of God’s love for me and my relationship with the living person of Jesus.
“This relationship expressed in prayer, liturgy and community is the anchor of my vocation and ministry as a priest,” he added.
Fr Vincent was ordained a priest in December 1982 by Archbishop Launcelot John Goody at St Mary’s Cathedral Perth, and went on to serve in the Carlisle, Leederville, Kalgoorlie/Boulder, Nollamara, Embleton and Floreat/ Wembley parishes.
However, it was upon the completion of his Licentiate in Sacramental Theology from the Pontificio Anteneo San Anselmo in Rome (1991) and his return to Perth that Fr Vincent would find his priestly ministry in the areas of education and faith formation.
Over the years, Father Vincent has lectured at various institutions such as the Catholic Institute of WA, Edith Cowan University, Curtin University, St Charles Seminary and Redemptoris Mater Seminary.
He has provided ongoing formation for teachers and catechists within CEWA and parishes. Father Vincent was also the Director of the Maranatha Institute for Adult Faith Education (know the Centre for Faith Enrichment) from 1999 to 2005.
For the last 11 years, he has been a Senior Lecturer in Sacramental Theology at Notre Dame University Fremantle.
In 2011, after several years of part time study, he gained a Bachelor of Laws degree from UNDA, a degree that he said broadened his understanding of many things and that he really enjoyed doing.
Over the last five years he has contributed to the writing, editing and publication of Pastoral Liturgy (a national liturgical resource used by many parishes Australia wide) as co-editor.
Father Vincent Glynn, left, distributes communion at the recent Annual Archdiocesan Agencies Mass in July this year. Fr Vincent has officially assumed his role as the first Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation and a member of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Perth on 1 July. Photo: Matthew Lau.
Fr Vincent has also been involved in various groups and ministries within the Archdiocese. These include a Personal Advocacy Group, the Professional Standards Resource Group for the Province of WA, Catholic Education Western Australia as theological Advisor for Religious educational materials, a member of the Council of Priests and the Archbishop’s member of the Council of John XXIII College in Mount Claremont.
Fr Vincent told The Record he is pleased to respond to the call of the Archbishop in his new role as Episcopal Vicar and to assist in the work of the archdiocese within the Archbishop’s office.
“I hope to enable people to meet the person of Jesus, to build on that curiosity, whether it be through the use of Scripture, community living, parish involvement and the celebration of the Sacraments,” Fr Glynn said.
“Adult Faith Formation should deepen a person’s relationship with Christ, so that they will take that relationship and live it out in their daily lives,” he said.
“The education component builds on this relationship formed with Jesus through the ministry of the Church.
“Adult formation is much broader than just education into what the Church teaches and knows, it is about forming a person to become a Christian, to become a disciple of Christ and to give them the foundation that enables them to be a Christian in the world,” he concluded.