Seminarian David: ‘I’ve grown so much in the seminary’


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By Seminarian David Sebastian, Holy Spirit Seminary

I came to the seminary straight after finishing Year 12.

Quite early on as a child, I was motivated and there was something about the priesthood that was so special. It took me a couple of years before I understood what that all meant.

I’m currently in my fourth year at Holy Spirit Seminary.

For me, structure is important, and the seminary gives me that structure. It grounds me and helps me focus and gets me through the day.

At 6:40am, we have morning prayer.

After that, we have the Holy Mass and then usually it differs from seminary to seminary – depending on their academic or pastoral schedule. For me, that usually takes up my mornings or evenings.

I’m finishing off my Bachelor of Philosophy at Notre Dame University and I’m continuing with my Bachelor of Sacred Theology (STB) at the Catholic Institute of Sydney.

There is a study plan, which lets you know what subjects need to be fulfilled in order to complete the degree. But there is a range, as in any degree – there is so much to study, whether that be biblical theology, ethics or Church history.

I’ve particularly enjoyed my course. I can really see the progression of theological ideas and how that’s influenced theological ideas. For me, the grasping of that and the effect in our modern world is particularly interesting. That relates to many different things in theological studies, whether that be biblical or ethical.

We come here to the seminary at lunch communally at 1pm and then we have free time until Holy Hour at 5:30pm. There’s a lot of freedom in this place, as we can have our own personal time and I do exercise or catch up on study.

After Holy Hour, we have dinner and then we go to our rooms to do a bit of study.

Seminarian David Sebastian. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

I’ve grown so much here in the seminary.

Every day brings along its challenges, but the seminary, I feel, whether it be studies or academic studies at university, prepared me in a way that made me be able to deal with those problems.

I was able to grow in my faith in the love of the Lord, which has then effectively helped me in my pastoral ministries outside, whether being a jail visit or even at parishes during Christmas.

Every year, we have pastoral placements. During the first and second year, seminarians are out in public schools teaching. In the third year, you work with the Jesuit Refugee Centre or House of Welcome in Granville. Fourth year changes again.

You’re meeting people, developing your skills, particularly in the pastoral aspect. Developing those listening skills as well.

There is a brotherhood amongst the seminarians. You get to know them so well because you live with each other. They help you and challenge you, which is necessary for the betterment of yourself.

That really does help you and does make it so much more special, because you’re growing with your brothers and you’re not doing it alone.

I’m trying to understand better what my vocation is and how to better understand the call that God has given to me, particularly in serving Him and the people of God – that’s what I try to get out of being here in the seminary.


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