4 August 2018, Saturday, 11.30 AM
Cathedral of St Joseph and St Patrick
Rev Anthony Trenwith
I entered the seminary in 2012 after spending seven years working as a lawyer.
The call to priesthood was something that I’d been considering and putting off for several years before I finally took the leap of faith and answered God’s call.
There was an “almost but not yet” quality to my discernment; there was always something else I wanted to do first. At the same time, while I enjoyed my work as a lawyer, I also felt called to do more with my life and give more of myself in a way that simply wasn’t possible with what I was doing.
As I’ve come to realise, any vocation is as much about “when” as it is about “what” – things happen in God’s time and not ours – but things of great value are worth searching for. Eventually, I just knew that the time was right; everything seemed to be falling into place and I thought “it’s now or never”.
For me, priesthood is about giving of myself for others as Christ did; not by being important or influential, but simply by serving God and His people, helping people come to know Christ in their lives in a very direct and personal way through being who I already am.
Ultimately, it’s the words of St Peter which best express what this calling is all about: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life.”
Rev Tony King-Archer
I was raised as a cradle Catholic by my parents who emigrated from Europe. I have two siblings, both of which are married and have children.
Prior to entering the seminary, I studied at Auckland university and worked as an accountant. My vocational story started quite early on in life, where I knew that I was called to the priesthood.
But it was only in my mid-twenties when I felt a strong call from Jesus to seriously discern the priesthood. I have found that the best way to communicate with someone is meeting them face to face. This is the same when it comes to meeting Christ. I found that I received a great amount of peace and joy from spending time with Jesus in adoration. I always knew that He had a plan for each person and I knew that adoration was the best place to pose this question to Him.
During my discernment, I was told that New Zealand was a mission country and that we didn’t need to travel far to be a missionary. This spoke to me, and I knew that I was called to the Church in New Zealand and more precisely to the Diocese of Auckland.
In my current ministry as a Deacon, I enjoy sharing with others the experience that I have had with Christ, that He came to make me whole, and desires this for each one of us. I hope to continue this ministry as a priest later this year.
PLEASE PRAY FOR YOUR SEMINARIANS
I am Romano Tikotikoca and originally from Fiji. There are seven of us in the family consisting of four girls and three boys.
I have been in New Zealand and at Holy Cross Seminary for four years. Before joining the seminary, I was a primary school teacher and taught for five years. Coming to the seminary was not the first choice for me but I have always joked that one day I would become a seminarian and a priest eventually. It was not until I was advised by our late Archbishop Emeritus Petero Mataca to stop joking and pray more about my vocation. During the Holy Mass of the Feast of Assumption in 2008, I felt deep within my being a burning desire, a sense of peace, grace, and courage to enter the seminary.
Coming to the seminary requires courage as it is not an easy journey. But with the support from the seminary and college staff, family, friends and personal and community prayers, it helps me continuously discern my call to priestly vocation.
I am Martin Wu a 6th year seminarian for Auckland Diocese. I was born in Hong Kong and have lived in New Zealand for most of my life. I have worked mainly in technology and social services but was bored. I consider myself a pretty ordinary Catholic. I love the Church, but was searching for something more in my life. World Youth Day 2008 was probably what really got me going after countless hours of prayer and phone calls. From then, I just had the leap of faith, remembering to “just go, be not afraid!” I love working with young people. And I can see now more than ever why Jesus loved the young. Two saints I have admired since I was young were Don Bosco and Marcellin Champagnat. They have been my powerhouse for work with the youth. I think it’s because both saints knew the secret key to youth/children ministry. It’s LOVE.
My name is Thomas (Chani) Park, eldest of two from a migrant family which came to New Zealand on the very first day of January 2003. My family settled in Browns Bay, North Shore.
I was 15 at that time, so I immediately joined Rangitoto College to continue my secondary education and completed it in 2006. And then I went to Auckland University to study geography and geology under their science faculty. In addition, I also studied supply chain management at Massey University.
I had not thought about priesthood until I have got the call. I have tried ignoring this 'special' calling because I do not want to become a priest. I have said to God countless times "No way! Why me? You've got the wrong person.” This interior 'battle' between God and myself lasted 7 years before I surrendered to Him and said "Yes, Lord. Let your will be done." In 2014, I joined the seminary for the Diocese of Auckland.
I am Joseph Pham, a new seminarian for Auckland Diocese this year.
I come from a Catholic family in North Vietnam, and have three older sisters who are all now married with children. Early in 2016, I graduated with a degree in Finance and Banking from the Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Then I came to Auckland and completed my Diploma in Business in February 2017.
I have always been involved with Catholic student movements. I was associated with our Youth Ministry while working in a variety of jobs.
I felt that I have wanted to be a priest for the past 16 years. Now that I feel the calling stronger, I have decided I need to respond to God’s call in the seminary, to verify if the priesthood is what he wants me to do, to serve Him by serving people, and where I will be fulfilled.
Dear Friends, With great joy, the Church in Auckland prepares to welcome two new priests. In August, I will ordain Deacon Anthony Trenwith and Deacon Tony King-Archer as priests. Please join with me in praying for our new priests and seminarians, and for many more young men from our Diocese of Auckland to follow the Lord in this vocation of love.
+ Patrick Dunn, Bishop of Auckland