Situated in cosmopolitan Harris Park, Holy Spirit Seminary is centred on historic Kenilworth House. The heritage-listed home has recently been restored to its former glory to meet the needs of the growing cohort of seminarians for the Diocese of Parramatta. Kenilworth House features a chapel, reception and parlour, library, study and classrooms, refectory and kitchens, offices for the Rector and Vice-Rector, recreation room and amenities. Classes for first year seminarians are conducted on site. The precinct will also include residential facilities for retired priests and is located adjacent to St Oliver Plunkett Parish, Harris Park.
Joining the seminary
With this time in seminary and the close living which is experienced, the seminarians make close friendships with one another which continue after ordination as a continuing support throughout Priesthood.
The person of Jesus Christ is the sole focus of our lives together. Everything we do comes from this essential foundation. As seminarians come to recognise more deeply that Christ is the unifying principle of our lives as individuals and our common life together, they devote themselves more wholeheartedly in the shared brotherhood of disciples all sharing the one vision.
In general the formation of a Catholic priest takes seven years. This may seem like a long time but it goes by quite quickly. It is true that there is much to learn in theology, philosophy and associated subjects. Just as important is the development which goes on within the individual to help in personal and spiritual maturity. This is a slow but very rewarding process. The seminarians here are given every support in this journey of personal transformation. It is a shared endeavour and the seminarians can count on one another for help in this work. Hence the emphasis we have on brotherhood. We take as our model the group of disciples gathered around Jesus to learn from him the gracious plan of the Father for the world. In learning to be more like Christ, the seminarian as disciple is preparing to become an apostle to live out that mission as a priest to gather together and care for the flock of Christ.
“The person of Jesus Christ is the sole focus of our lives together. Everything we do comes from this essential foundation.”
How do you become a Seminarian for the Diocese of Parramatta?
If you feel as though God may be calling you to the priesthood, the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta welcomes the opportunity to help you with your discernment. Director of Priestly Vocations, Fr John Paul Escarlan, is your first point of contact. Fr John Paul is always available to listen, offer guidance and talk you through the Parramatta’s four-step admissions process:
- Recommendation and Acceptance
You can learn more about Vocations for the Diocese of Parramatta here. See the form below to contact Father John Paul.
Every fourth Friday of the month at 6:30pm a Holy Hour takes place in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, to pray for Vocations. This is a time of prayer and reflection in front of the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration and concluding with Benediction. All are welcome to join.
Holy Spirit Seminary is not a large institution. It caters for seminarians who have been accepted by the Bishop of Parramatta for future priesthood in this diocese.
Because of its small size it is able to provide a close community setting for the various aspects of formation. The seminarians rely on one another and support one another as they journey together, in a form of pilgrimage, to ordination into the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ. Only Christ is the ultimate High Priest. Ordained ministers share in Christ’s Priesthood so that….
“Christ’s priests have no priesthood but His…what they do, He does; when they baptise, He is baptising; when they bless, He is the blessing.”
-Blessed John Newman
Quoted by Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops of England and Wales at their ad limina visit in February 2010.
Mission and Vision
Holy Spirit Seminary has a mission to prepare future priests for the diocese who will work in complete collaboration with the Bishop and provide excellent leadership in the communities of the Faithful. The seminary will provide the support necessary to achieve this aim so that Christ’s message of love and reconciliation with God and with one another will be the hallmark of priestly ministry throughout the diocese of Parramatta.
The seminary incorporates a vision whereby the priests it prepares are faithful to the presence and example of Christ, are loyal to the Catholic tradition, are mature in their human and spiritual lives, and are flexible in meeting the challenges of an ever-changing diocese in an evolving world.
- The seminary takes seriously its mandate of training men to be true shepherds of Christ’s flock for whom he laid down his life and rose victoriously. The preparation programme is saturated with the following principles:
- The seminarian prepares for Priesthood by acknowledging the primacy of Jesus Christ in his life and future ministry.
- The seminarian acquires the spiritual and human maturity to be emptied of self so that he can be filled with Christ.
- The seminarian learns that the people of God are his chief concern and that their welfare is always to come before his own needs
- The seminarian learns that there is always something new to learn and humbly accepts that anyone can be an instrument of his own improvement.
In this way Holy Spirit Seminary can prepare men for Catholic Priesthood who will be outstanding examples of Christian living and of self-emptying service to the world.
Holy Spirit Seminary
31-33 Allen Street
Harris Park, NSW, 2150
PO Box 9438, Harris Park, 2150
Tel (02) 9296 6300