The history of the Catholic Church is a rich and interesting tapestry of faith, hope, love and war; and one that Dr Brian Jones has explored in his readings and studies for many years.
As an Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Queensland, his research focuses on the history of the Roman Empire, with a particular emphasis on the Flavian emperors.
It is through these studies, and his extensive travel, that he sees where God continues to walk with humanity through the ages. “I had to study Latin at school, and it was here that I first became interested in the ancient world. Being Catholic, I was able to look at what I learn through both a critical, world lens and through that of faith”, said Brian.
“No matter where my travels took me, there was always human suffering and people in need. There are so many who are less fortunate than I am, and that is what compels me to make a yearly donation to support the Annual Catholic Campaign. Through this one gift, I can support four causes that are important to me – our priests, and those in need in my community.”
Dr. Jones also decided to leave gifts in his Will to support seminarians and retired priests, because he knows that the priesthood as a vocation is vital to our faith. “It is possible to continue without priests – just look at the example of China,” said Brian, “but it is not optimal. Priests make a decided difference in sacramental life and the everyday lives of parishioners. If my gift can make a difference here, I will be happy with that.”
When asked if there is one thing we can learn from the past, Brian believes it is the ‘desire for war’ that has always hampered mankind. “Throughout the ages, we have waged war, and if we could just remove this desire for war, the world would be so much better”, said Brian.
“With my gift, I want to help those in need. And while I could give it directly to the poor, I believe giving to ensure future priests will empower the Church to work where the need is greatest – so that through this gift in my Will, I help alleviate spiritual, physical, and mental needs.”