In 2012 I was fortunate that Bishop Denis sent me as a transitional seminarian to Holy Cross Seminary to fulfil a call to late vocation formation. I was aware that I would probably be the oldest seminarian so I was apprehensive as the first year intake commenced. The other first years are a great bunch of men who certainly made the assimilation to a new life very easy and I have really valued the whole seminary community who support each other to the fullest degree.

As a transitional I have a shorter formation period as life experiences and previous study are factors in the formation, none the less the academic study has required a major adjustment. Spiritually the year has been one of really deep and meaningful experiences and growth, I feel blest to have Jesus Christ walking the formation journey with me as does my late wife Shona travel with me every step of the way.

It is great to be part of a strong diocesan presence in the seminary with Glen, Mark, Matt, Jacob and Danny who we catch up with also during his pastoral placement year. I appreciate all the support from Bishop Denis, Father Eamon Kennedy, Father Darren McFarlane and many across the diocese. I have just completed my pastoral placement for the year which was with the parish of St Joseph’s Morrinsville, it has been the most fantastic time in a great parish, I am indebted to the parish and Father Mark O’Keeffe for their love and support.

Next year will see the completion of my academic studies and my departure from the seminary for pastoral placement in the diocese. It will be a challenging year however prayer strengthens the soul and lifts the spirit to face challenges. I thank God for calling me to serve him and his people, please pray for me that I may fulfil God’s call for the service of the people of the Hamilton diocese.