Engineering a Life of God’s Work
Over two hundred people lined up in St Carthage’s Cathedral, Lismore to be blessed by the Church’s newest Priest after his first Mass, the day after his Ordination.
Father Nicolas Maurice was Ordained on 3rd July in a very moving ceremony that was witnessed by a congregation that filled the Cathedral.
It was the first Ordination at St Carthage’s since 1993.
Father Nicolas’s decision to study for the priesthood took time to discern. ‘While I was working as an engineer I used to receive spiritual direction from a wise priest.’ ‘Spiritual direction was an important aid to help me recognize what the Holy Spirit was doing in my life. When I decided to enter the seminary I remember feeling peace and joy. These were good signs for me that I was on the right track’. He says that the time in the seminary is where one can strengthen the desire to serve as a priest. ‘My time of formation has been a blessing and I have learnt plenty about myself. I think the Holy Spirit has done a lot in me over these years’.
After completing his Engineering Degree at Queensland University, Father Maurice spent a year in the Western Australian Kimberley region undertaking voluntary youth work with a catholic apostolate, NET (National Evangelization Teams) before meeting Bishop Jarrett of Lismore and becoming his student. In 2002 he entered the Good Shepherd seminary at Homebush. In 2004, Bishop Jarrett asked him to complete his studies in Rome. He completed four years in Rome and will return in September to finish a final year there.
‘I am excited at the prospect of responding to God in this way that He has called me. I will have the privilege of serving God’s people and witnessing the Lord transform lives,’ he says. Like the vocation to marriage, priesthood is not without its trials and challenges. ‘I am inspired by Pope Benedict’s words where he speaks of the importance of an ‘˜intimate friendship with Jesus’. Just like any Christian, for me an intimate friendship with Jesus is foundational when faced with all the challenges life brings’. He adds, ‘I believe that Jesus will be able to work through me to bring His love and joy to others’.
Before returning to Rome to complete his studies Father Nicolas will travel to World Youth Day in Sydney with the St Carthage’s Youth group. He will return to the Lismore Diocese in July 2009.