Record six Notre Dame graduates enter the priesthood

Six Notre Dame graduates were ordained as priests of the Archdiocese of Perth by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB. Photo: Archdiocese of Perth – Ron Tan

28 November 2017

The University of Notre Dame Australia has celebrated a landmark event with the ordination of a record six graduates to the priesthood from the University’s School of Philosophy & Theology.

Fr Mariusz Grzech, Fr Tung Vu, Fr Joseph Laundy, Fr Konrad Gagatek, Fr Kenneth (Max) Acosta Garcia and Fr Patricio Carrera Morales were ordained on Friday 17 November by the Archdiocese of Perth’s Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB during a special ordination ceremony – in the presence of more than 1300 people – at St Mary’s Cathedral.

The newly ordained priests come from all over the world -- Australia (Fr Joseph), Poland (Fr Mariusz and Fr Konrad), Vietnam (Fr Tung), the Dominican Republic (Fr Kenneth) and Guatemala (Fr Patricio).

The Rite of Ordination is the process by which a deacon becomes a priest and occurs within the context of a Catholic Mass. Ordination permits ministers to perform Church rites and sacraments, such as baptisms, marriages and funerals.

Tom Gourlay, Manager of the University’s Campus Ministry, said having six Notre Dame graduates ordained into the Church in the same ceremony was a remarkable achievement and is evidence of the University’s ongoing commitment to Catholic education and formation.

“Notre Dame is in a privileged place to contribute to the academic formation of men for the Sacrament of Holy Orders. We are proud of the fact that a significant number of priests and deacons in the Archdiocese of Perth, and further afield, are alumni of our University,” Mr Gourlay said.

“Seminarians from both our diocesan seminary, St Charles, and the seminaries of the Neocatechumenate Way and Redemptoris Mater, study at Notre Dame and contribute significantly to the life of the University. Their presence and contribution to the life of the University add a great deal to our living out the Objects of providing a University education in the context of Catholic faith and values.”

Since 1994, Notre Dame’s School of Philosophy & Theology has educated students for vocations in the Church, and careers in theology and philosophy.

Thoughts from Notre Dame graduates newly-ordained to the priesthood

“God has asked much of me on this journey but in response I have received so much from Him, more than I could have imagined, and I want to give my life to be His instrument – at this time, in this age.” – Fr Mariusz Grzech

“It was my parents’ efforts that instilled and planted the seed for my faith. Growing up I was involved in our parish and seeing the dedication and hard work of the priests and nuns helped me affirm my calling to the priesthood.” – Fr Tung Vu

“Studying Theology unearthed the treasures and richness of the Catholic Tradition. I’ve witnessed the dedication, holiness and selflessness of my fellow brother seminarians and priests.” - Fr Joseph Laundy

“I have found the Church’s teaching to be life-giving, nourishing, challenging, dignifying, insightful and remarkably sensible. I want my life to revolve around the Eucharist, and to offer the great gift that I have all too often received myself – the forgiveness and mercy of God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.” – Fr Konrad Gagatek

“I want to do my best to reach people to give them hope, to break the bread through the Eucharist for them. I have seen the hand of God in my life and I know everything is possible through Him.” - Fr Kenneth (Max) Acosta Garcia

“Seeing some of the priests I know serving the Church with joy and love, has made me desire to have the same spirit.” - Fr Patricio Carrera Morales

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