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Vocations Event: Discovering God’s Plan for Our Lives

Date: Sunday 19 June, 2022
Time: Light refreshments at 1:30pm for a 2:00pm start
Cost: Free
RSVP: Tuesday 14 June 2022

You are invited to join with vibrant people from around the Diocese including an expert panel who will be discussing what a vocation is and how each of the four vocations are a call to love and holiness! What exactly does that mean? Come and see! This invitation is for both people who are living their vocation as well as those discerning their vocation. The event will include refreshments, good company, as well as the opportunity for anonymous Q and A. We hope to see you there!


Anonymous Q&A

Xavier Centre Conference Rooms
Contact Person
Fr Duane Fernandez
Street Address
38 Harbour St, Wollongong

Special Guests

Joel and Elise – Marriage

Hi we are Joel and Elise! We have been married for three and a half years. We have one child and one on the way. We are both teachers and belong to the parish of St Therese West Wollongong. Elise has a passion for catechesis and evangelisation particularly in the areas of Theology of the Body, the Eucharist and the Old Testament. Joel has a passion for prayer, worship, catechesis and evangelisation with a particular focus on youth and young adults. Elise enjoys a flat white and Joel doesn’t drink coffee…I know, who doesn’t like coffee!

Bernadette Toohey MGL

Bernadette grew up in Adelaide, studied media, marketing, theology and secondary teaching and worked for four years as a high school youth minister before joining the MGL Sisters in 2012.  As an MGL Sister, she has spent the last 10 years involved in youth ministry in parishes, schools, prisons and large youth events. Her highlights so far were taking her final vows in 2021 and a nine-month youth ministry road trip in 2018. She’s a passionate speaker and teacher about sharing the faith in our current times. If she wasn’t an MGL Sister she would have loved to have made it as a talk show host, rally car driver or high school RE teacher. Berna loves a good BIG cup of tea – white & none, or herbal!

James Arblaster – Deacon

James grew up in Albion Park Rail and went to Joey’s where, in Year 12, he experienced a rather inconvenient call to the priesthood. He went on to study Law and International Studies at UOW, hoping that a career in law/diplomacy might shake it off. However, God is both patient and persistent, even bothering him when James was living his ‘best life’* in Spain. In the end, James decided to give seminary a go for one year, give it everything, and then decide what to do at the end of the year. Spoiler alert: he was ordained a deacon in May 2022, and is on track to priestly ordination by the end of this year. James loves a good board game night, exercises begrudgingly, and enjoys a flat white (or double espresso if it’s ‘go-time’), or a leisurely pot of English Breakfast leaf tea (if it’s a ‘sit-in-chair-staring-into-space’ vibe).

*Narrator: “But, as he would discover, his actual best life was yet to come.”

Fr Duane Fernandez

As Vocations Director for Wollongong Diocese, Fr Duane is passionate about creating a “culture of vocation” (to quote St John Paul II). This passion flows from Fr Duane’s own experience of discovering how much better God’s plans are than his own – both in the big picture of life and vocation and in everyday life. Fr Duane is excited about the quality panellists for this event and will act as a facilitator, facilitating questions for the panel from the audience and drawing together some of the themes common to all vocations and vocational discernment.