Priest in Rockhampton

“We need men who have the COURAGE to accept the CHALLENGE to be LEADERS through times of great CHANGE in our CHURCH.” Bishop Brian Heenan

The Role of the Priest

Community Leader

God’s plan for the world is ambitious; it involves nothing less than the complete transformation of human society.  The building blocks for this massive plan are our local communities.  As part of these communities, the church works in partnership with civic leaders, community organizations, other Christian churches and religions.  One of the most satisfying things about being a priest is being part of a faith community and being a pastoral leader.  This involves presiding at communal worship.  It also involves being among smaller communities, such as families at big moments like weddings and baptisms.  Priests are called upon to enter the lives of people when life is darkened with sadness and difficulty.  Even through these difficult moments a priest can experience a profound satisfaction that they have been an instrument of God.

Messenger of Hope

Jesus Christ has an incredible impact on the world.  The teachings of Christ have shaped the values of many societies and continue to shape those values today.  A critical part of a priest’s mission is to tell Christ’s story of hope.  That story brings comfort to those who are weak and without a voice.  The story is intended to disturb and activate those who have the power to make the world a better place. Jesus’ message of hope is not always popular; many people have been killed for preaching the Gospel, but it is a powerful message that must be told.

Spiritual Guide

Today there is a strong awareness that people everywhere long to have spiritual nourishment.  The Catholic community itself also needs to be fed with the body and blood of Christ.  The priest of the future will continue that tradition of assisting people to develop their spirituality.  The future priest will also need to explore ways of helping people make spiritual sense of their lives in a dynamic and changing world.  Before doing these things, priests are students of prayer themselves.  A priest develops his personal relationship with God, to learn the ways of God and to lead others on those paths.

Qualities of a Potential Priest

Spiritual Qualities

1. Is committed to and passionate about the Catholic faith.
2. Cultivates a strong sense of the sacred – the place of Christ in his life
3. Has an eye and a love for the Word of God and seeks to live out the Gospel in daily life
4. Participates in the celebration of the Eucharist – actively and regularly
5. Has a growing commitment to personal private prayer
6. Understands Baptism as the first vocation of the faithful

Ministry Qualities

1. Is developing an openness to what’s new, what’s different, what lies out of the comfort zone - even while being grounded in the familiar, in the routine, in what conserves
2. Has an eagerness for the prophetic, a sympathy for the marginalized, a challenging voice for the excluded, and a hunger for social justice
3. Recognizes the importance of authority and institution – helps nurture the sacred within family, Church and tradition.
4. Is focused on the Kingdom of God – stretching from this life to the next

Academic Qualities

1. Has completed secondary school or the equivalent of Senior
2. Is intelligent and exhibits an eagerness to learn

Personal Qualities

1. Maintains a strong sense of individuality, demonstrates a generosity of spirit and private integrity – balanced with a commitment to community, family, and Church.
2. Enjoys a healthy capacity to live and value life – with an equally happy capacity for asceticism, selflessness, and discipline
3 Has a deep appreciation of sexuality and is able to defend its goodness – coupled with an equally strong defence of purity and chastity
4. Is conscious of the world community – considering other nationalities and cultures
5. Lives a responsible and independent life – with an unabashed love for this world, for its joys and sorrows

The Process of becoming a Priest

Stage One
This time of enquiry and preparation allows the applicant and the vocations team to reflect and consider the applicant’s suitability to be a priest and his readiness to enter the seminary process.

Stage Two
The foundation year aims to immerse the student in an understanding of what it is to be a diocesan priest.  Through St Paul’s Theological College, the academic phase equips the student with the intellectual skills required to be a priest in the modern world.  The pre-pastoral phase involves preparing for the move into parish ministry which follows.

Stage Three
The pastoral stage is a year-long internship in a parish of the student’s home diocese.  The student reflects on the experience of ministry in order to expand his pastoral abilities.

Stage Four
While continuing to grow in pastoral experience in a parish, this phase involves preparation for the ministry of a deacon.  This is an ordained ministry which involves presiding at sacramental liturgies: baptisms, weddings, funerals.  The student continues to study part-time.  If the student is located outside of the Brisbane area, this study may be done through distance education or short-term intensive courses.

Stage Five
For at least six months the deacon will exercise this ministry whilst preparing to be ordained a priest.

Stage Six
The newly ordained priest will continue to learn and grow.

Information sourced from

Ask Fr Matthew Moloney a question about the Priesthood

Diocesan Director of Vocations

Fr Matthew Moloney
PO Box 9874
Frenchville Qld 4701
Phone: 07 4928 2800


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