Twelve months ago, three young men joined the Priesthood for our Diocese bringing their very different life experiences to the ministry. They were then sent to minister in different regions of our diocese. They share here their reflections on their first year as a priest amongst the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Father Jithin Anto - appointed to Cathedral Parish Sale

It has been a year since my ordination, a challenging but fruitful year. The gift of the priesthood is of great joy to me and I hope to others. During this year many extraordinary things have occurred in my life and in the life of all of us. The biggest challenge for me was not being able to celebrate the joy of my ordination with my family, I am yet to celebrate a Thanksgiving Mass for them and with them.

One thing that I have learnt early on in my ministry is that our ministries must not revolve around us but around Jesus if they are to be fruitful.

I have had a very interesting, joyful and fruitful one year. Celebrating the sacraments with the people has been a cause of great joy for me. I have had the awesome opportunity to celebrate baptisms and seeing in the child the new creation, the new life.

It is not an easy time for the priesthood, but I doubt that there was ever an easy time to be a priest. The darkness of the abuse crisis will be felt for a long time to come, and the burden of its guilt will be on the backs of priests. This burden given to us is part of the wood that makes up the cross we have been entrusted with. However, this cross is not our own Jesus carries it with us. Therefore, I feel the presence of God in everything I do for him and his people.

I don’t know what to look forward to, I don’t know what God has in store for me. I do know that God has given me this wonderful opportunity to be a priest and I hope to find joy in every moment that I spend with the people and the clergy.




Fr Confidence Masvosva  - appointed to Warragul and Drouin Parishes

Covid Priest

A year may seem to be long or short depending on how you have been going, what you have been doing and where you have been. For me the first year of my priestly ministry has been a mixed bag. Having been ordained in covid and worked substantially under covid restrictions, it has been interesting from all spheres of life. Creativity and time management was the way to go.

When I was appointed to St Joseph and St Ita’s parish I realised that being a priest I wear different jackets almost every day. The Church being a place that welcomes everyone “I have become all things to all people”. To be a priest is to have the heart of Jesus. To have the heart and mind of the pastor to the sheep.

The saying “if you are in Rome do what the Romans do” applies. When I am attending a funeral people expect me to be having the funeral face and being present. From a funeral setup I may be invited to the birthday party or a house blessing where people expect me to be present for the occasion. The emotional change is what I found to be challenging. In one day, I may attend three or four different scenarios where I am to be wear different faces, emotions and roles.

In my year experience as a priest I saw the hand of God and the power of Jesus the Good Shepherd. God is present in all situations and my priesthood depend on God. I was able to listen, to teach, to comfort, to heal and to transform some people’s lives by my presence in their life.  

Like any other human person as a priest I have feelings and emotions, I have needs: physical, spiritual, mental and psychological. Lockdown, covid-19 and all made me realise the need of other people in my life and that I am because we are. Alone I am nothing but together we are everything.

What I can say is when people are happy with what I do, I am happy and God is happy. This year for me was the foundational year, a lot is coming and forward ever. With God on our side who will be against us. We keep winning because we chose the wining team. “Team Jesus Christ” Pray for me as I pray for you.


Father Paul Zaher -appointed to Pakenham Parish

I have had an interesting and glorious time experiencing my first year as a priest.  This year has been a great learning curve as well as a spiritually uplifting experience.  There has been a great joy that I receive in celebrating the Eucharist along with celebrating the Sacrament of Penance. 

The biggest impact on this journey has been the parishioners and the parish staff.  The people of Saint Patrick’s Parish Pakenham have welcomed me and brought me into their lives, even through the issues of the pandemic.  My time in this first year has left me with immense confidence for the future of my ministry.