Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Filipino Men to Be Ordained Deacons; Quest to Become Priests Leads to Lismore Diocese

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Filipino Men to Be Ordained Deacons; Quest to Become Priests Leads to Lismore Diocese

Article excerpt

Byline: Ava Benny-Morrison Reporter

THE Lismore Catholic Diocese will welcome two young deacons to the ministry tonight.

Roland Agrisola and Shelwin Fernandez, both from The Philippines, have been studying forseven years to become priests and tonight at their ordination they will be one step closer.

Mr Agrisola, who is based atCasino, knew he wanted to become a priest at a young age, but had to wait a[approximately]for a miracle'.

"The moment I told my parents they were not sure about it," the 26-year-old said.

"To go to even a minor seminary is a bit expensive and I come from a family of five children. My parents are farmers who earn just enough to survive.

"I kept on praying and eventually a miracle happened."

The local parish priest agreed to support a 13-year-old Roland in his pursuit to become a priest.

A few years later, the Bishop of Lismore visited The Philippines and informed Mr Agrisola and Mr Fernandez about the shortage of priests in the Lismore Diocese.

Both men applied separately and eventually found themselves at a seminary in the NSW city of Wagga Wagga. …

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