Fr Vincent's story continued...

I felt the call to risk the endeavor of being P.P. for St Bernard’s, aware I was inheriting a huge legacy of community making created under Peter Foley’s care. As I say it’s like replacing a star AFL centre half forward with a half back flanker from a minor country league. No matter, its time to set out into the depths of the field and stay on the ball. Hence the call to take the risk and re enter a larger ministry is not about status or lack of it but rather about belief in the gospel as good news and its power to heal and transform our lives. The parish of St Bernard’s’ has a strong history of lay participation and empowerment which is central to the spirit of Vatican II and the freedom the gospel brings. In a time where there is much regression and re clericalalizing within the church I felt something stirring within me to come and serve the people of Belmont parish and defend its fine legacy.

It matters little that I have come from the margins. No catholic schooling, years away from practising the faith, exploration of eastern spiritual traditions, eighteen different jobs before priesthood, dysfunctional family, a lot of time in the rarified air of the Dandenongs as assistant and parish priest, a rough intense time as prison chaplain and then more time in distant hills. What matters is now, and the belief that abundance will be
given to those who set out into the deep.

To all who have welcomed me and encouraged me since my arrival thank you and God bless you.