Seminarian’s Testimony: Danny Fraser-Jones
The end of the 2012 academic year marks the end of my fourth year at Holy Cross, our national diocesan seminary. This year has been a continuation of the theological and philosophical study that has occupied the last three years. I am grateful that Bishop Denis has accepted me as a seminarian and I am conscious of the fact that I am privileged to be able to devote this time to discovery and drawing closer to God, made possible by the generosity of all the people who contribute to our training.
As someone who began this journey in my early thirties I have enjoyed the variety in both the academic and the community life. This year I was living with two seminarians, one who grew up in what is the newest country on earth, South Sudan and another, a qualified engineer originally from the Philippines. Academically I jumped between studying Continental Philosophy, Biomedical Ethics, Canon Law, Eucharist and much more besides.
The friendships and habits of prayer that hopefully develop an intense environment like the seminary will help me in any future ministry that the good Lord calls me to. I have found it a challenge to be away from the Hamilton diocese while in the seminary and it has been a boost personally for me this year to have two brothers, Glen and Mark join me from the diocese. Even better, the prospects for next year are great so I encourage anyone to pray for vocations, both priestly and religious and also to prayer for the seminary so that we get not only priests but holy priests.
One of the exciting aspects of the seminary programme is that next year I will be back in the diocese spending time in both Gisborne and Rotorua. This will be an opportunity to live in a parish and experience some of the highs and lows that a priest faces in daily life. Hopefully this will be a time of being invited into the lives of parishioners and learning what they desire from parish life and their priest. I am praying that this will be a time of confirming the call that I feel God has placed on my life to serve Him and his people in the great diocese of Hamilton.