WelCom April 2023
Church Mission Team, Archdiocese of Wellington
On Good Shepherd Sunday, 30 April 2023, the fourth Sunday of Easter, we are invited to pray for those called to serve through priestly vocation. In the Gospel reading for the day (Jn 10:1-10) Christ is described as the ‘Good Shepherd’ who lays down his life for his sheep. The day also marks the beginning of our National Vocations Awareness Week.
Please consider who you could pray for, invite, and encourage this year. Visit wellingtonpriests.org to find out more about the call to diocesan priesthood in the Archdiocese of Wellington. For more information please contact the Archdiocese Vocations Director, Fr Andrew Kim,
at firstname.lastname@example.org or ph 022 102 2011.
Fr Joy Thottankara
For me, the call to priesthood is an invitation to have a personal friendship with Jesus and to bring Jesus to the people I am called to serve, because of the love of Christ for me.
Whichever path you follow, you have to be willing to take a risk in life. I always keep in mind the promise God made in the book of Jeremiah in the Bible – God knows what plans he has for us, and his plans for us are good. Making the choice to stay on the journey to priesthood took courage, but I have never regretted the decision.
Being a priest gives me the opportunity to bring the love of Christ to the people I am called to serve. This gives me the joy and energy to continue my ministry of the priesthood.
Fr Joy is serving as Assistant Priest at Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish, Wellington.
Fr Michael Bellizzi
The seminary was a time to grow and mature. I was asking myself: ‘Do I really have what it takes?’ But deep down I knew this was not something I was following blindly, but a call that was not coming from me. God was simply asking me to trust and to follow.
The call to be a priest is not something you come up with, but something that is offered to you again and again. If it is really coming from God, the call to the priesthood will not go away even if you try to block it out of your life. God is very gentle but also persistent. He will not choose things for us but leaves us free to choose ourselves. The more we love God, the more willing we will be to risk everything for him.
Fr Michael is serving as Assistant Priest at the Catholic Parish of Wellington South.
These and other vocation stories of our priests and seminarians are online at wellingtonpriests.org and in the vocation booklet for schools ‘Dare to Say Yes’. Contact Lucienne Hensel at email@example.com for copies for your parish or school.
Please pray for our seminarians
- Matthew White, from Te Ngakau Tapu parish, is on pastoral placement in Ōtari Parish.
- Kinh Nguyen, from Vietnam, is on pastoral placement at St Joseph’s Parish, Upper Hutt.
- Emilio Capin, from the Philippines, is in his fourth year of formation at Holy Cross Seminary.
- Gerson Badayos, from the Philippines, is in his third year of formation at Holy Cross Seminary.