True North

Fr Frank Brennan SJ, Fr Greg Jacobs SJ and Fr Paul Fyfe SJ will commence their mission to Brisbane in the new year. A special Missioning Mass for them was held in the Province Office on 1 December.

By Fr Quyen Vu, Provincial, The Society of Jesus in Australia 

Today marks a significant moment in the journey ahead for Frank, Greg and Paul as we gather for this Missioning Mass. As we send them forth to serve in the parishes of Toowong, St Lucia and Indooroopilly, we acknowledge that the path ahead will be challenging.

It’s essential to recognise that stepping into this mission will take each of you out of your comfort zones. You will encounter new parishioners, new ways of doing things, new community of communities, new cultures, and traditions.

There will be moments when you might feel insignificant, lacking resources and vulnerable. This is an inherent aspect of being sent on a mission. The early Companions all underwent similar experiences when they were sent on missions. They have paved the way for us, and their spirit supports us in our endeavours.

Australian Provincial Fr Quyen Vu SJ (right) with Fr Frank Brennan, Fr Greg Jacobs and Fr Paul Fyfe at the Missioning Mass at the Province Office. Fr Greg will be Parish Priest of St Lucia and Administrator of Toowong and Indooroopilly, Fr Paul will be the Assistant Parish Priest and Fr Frank will be Superior of the new Jesuit community while continuing his work in the public square. All photographs: David McMahon

Yet, your presence is essential in Brisbane. This summons arises from a genuine need expressed by the people, the archdiocese, and the bishops who, in their wisdom, have reached out to us with trust and faith.

In the spirit of St Ignatius, who advised Jesuits to be tactful and to enter through the doors of those you serve but lead them out through our own door, you are called to minister to the communities of Toowong, St Lucia, and Indooroopilly.

It is a delicate balance, meeting people where they are while gently guiding them toward the teachings and love of our faith.

Frank, Greg and Paul, the Australian Province places its trust in you, entrusting you with the mission to care for the souls of the parishioners in these three parishes.

Your service in bringing the Good News to them is of paramount importance in fostering a vibrant and thriving community.

GC 36, D1, No.9 reminded us that:

“The Jesuit community is a concrete space in which we live as friends in the Lord. This life together is always at the service of mission, but because these fraternal bonds proclaim the Gospel, it is itself a mission.” [GC 36, D.1, No. 9]

Supporting one another is crucial for achieving apostolic effectiveness. Therefore, consider your Jesuit community as an integral part of your mission also.

Remember that you are not only messengers of the Gospel but also shepherds of God’s flock. As Pope Francis has reminded us, shepherds should smell like their sheep— embodying a sense of proximity and relatability to those entrusted to their care.

Your role is to nurture, guide and bring back the lost sheep to the fold, creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.

As you embark on this mission, may the grace of God accompany you, and may the love of Christ be your guiding light.

The challenges may be great, but the rewards of serving God’s people and spreading the Good News are immeasurable.

Go forth with courage, compassion, and the spirit of service, knowing that you carry with you the prayers and support of the Province.

May your ministry be blessed abundantly as you shepherd the souls entrusted to your care.

I hereby assign the three of you a mission to the communities of St Ignatius Toowong, St Lucia, and Indooroopilly on behalf of our Province.

May God’s grace be with you throughout this wonderful endeavour.