In a remarkable journey of faith and dedication, Brad, a former teacher, is on his path to becoming a priest. His story began in a classroom where he nurtured the faith and lives of his Year Four students. From a young age, Brad felt a strong calling to work with children, starting as a sports coach and later becoming a teacher in Gatton. Despite finding fulfillment in his career, Brad sensed that his true calling lay elsewhere.

“I remember sitting in my classroom after school one afternoon and thinking that teaching would be a worthwhile, lifelong commitment. I knew I could give a lot to the faith life of children and the community by being a teacher at a school and being active in the parish. But there was just something in me that said that this was not my calling for the rest of my life. There’s something else. Something… important,” Brad shared.

Throughout his journey, Brad has relied on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He has faced doubts and the strong pull towards a married and family life but found clarity in his vocation through these challenges. Brad realised that God was calling him to impact the faith lives of many more as a priest.

“When I think of the future, I think our Church needs priests who can relate well to the circumstances of the people they serve. I feel called to be a priest who is not separate but integrated into the community. It’s so important that priests have an understanding and insight into parishioners’ lives. We are all called to live a spiritual life, but we are also called to connect through our shared experiences. As much as a priest needs to be in touch with his human side, people must be able to see and relate to their priests’ human side,” Brad explained.

The support of the community has provided Brad with the education and formation he needs to be the ‘present’ priest he hopes to be. At Holy Spirit Seminary, seminarians like Brad focus on their human formation as much as their intellectual and faith formation. The need for support continues. Through prayers and financial assistance, the community can guide these men and prepare them to become priests who will truly walk alongside those they serve—empathising, understanding, and leading with heart.

Brad fondly recalls his placements in diverse parishes around the Archdiocese—from the tight-knit community of Boonah to vibrant, bustling parishes like Surfers Paradise. Each experience enriched his understanding of pastoral care and deepened his desire to serve a community not just as a priest but as a true part of it.

As Brad prepares to transition from seminary to parish, he carries with him not just theological knowledge but also personal growth fostered through seminary life. Living in community with fellow seminarians has been both a blessing and a challenge, fostering camaraderie and mutual support.

Brad expresses his deep gratitude, saying: “Thank you for all you sacrifice so that we may sit at the feet of our First Teacher and become priests in His image.”

The Church’s need for committed, compassionate leaders continues to grow. Through gifts and support, the community plays a crucial role in this mission. While the number of seminarians may be fewer than in the past, their quality and dedication promise a hopeful future. Continued support and prayers are essential to foster the next generation of pastoral leaders—leaders like Brad.

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