3 May 2021
On the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, the Most Rev Anthony Randazzo blessed and opened Joseph House, a house of discernment for young men in the Diocese of Broken Bay.
The House, located in Willoughby in the Parish of Lower North Shore is the third house of discernment opened by Bishop Randazzo, who established the first in Brisbane, the second in Sydney when he was Auxiliary Bishop, and now as Bishop of Broken Bay, the third dedicated to the patronage of St Joseph.
Joseph House reflects Bishop Randazzo’s desire to call forth the baptismal vocation of every person as well as encourage and support vocations to the priesthood, to marriage, to religious and single life.
“I wish to build a vocational culture in which every person is attentive to the call of God in their own lives and their mission to walk the way of discipleship and follow Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Randazzo.
People gathered from across the Diocese for the blessing and ribbon cutting to officially open the Joseph House, a collaboration between many agencies of the Diocese including Youth, Vocations, Communications and Evangelisation Broken Bay.
Throughout a 12-18 month stay, six young men will experience community living, and will contemplate, pray and actively discern their vocation, whilst being active in the world maintaining regular work, studies and daily life.
The early Federation style house dates to the 1900s and over the decades has had a history as a convent for the sisters of St Joseph, an office for Catholic education, and a Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) home for priests as well as a number of seminarians in formation. It was blessed on Saturday for its present purpose as a house of discernment for the young men who are expected to move in for the second half of the year.
The Joseph House logo which was burnt into a wooden sign at the entrance of the house, features two symbols often depicted in representations of St Joseph. The set square is the sign of a master craftsman and the lily is a symbol of purity. Bishop Randazzo explained that these symbols are depicted together to show that “both qualities are important to grow strong and committed men of God, who work hard and live in the world, and strive for a pure heart to walk in the way of discipleship with Jesus Christ.”
Bishop Randazzo announced the House would be governed by a House Council comprised of a number of people experienced in leadership and mission in the Church and from a variety of charisms and vocations. He announced the members are Rev Fr Paul Durkin, Director for Vocations, Diocese of Broken Bay; Mr Alex Leach, Coordinator of Catholic Youth in Evangelisation Broken Bay; Ms Kylie Cullen; and Mr and Mrs Paul and Soizic Morrissey. Bishop Randazzo also appointed a priest animator to accompany the men in moments of discernment, the soon to be ordained Deacon Sam French.
Though Joseph House is for young men, Bishop Randazzo explained that it was only half the story. “I also intend to develop this model further with a house of discernment for women”.
Bishop Randazzo was clear in pointing out that the whole community of the Church of Broken Bay should embrace the mission of Joseph House.
“I look to you to be the ambassadors of this House, to inspire young men you may know to consider seriously reflecting on God’s call for their life,” he said.
“I look to you to be partners in the mission of the Church to build a vocational culture, so that our young people might discover the divine purpose of their lives. The responsibility of nurturing strong vocations lies with each and every one of us.”
For more information about Joseph House see www.bbcatholic.org.au/josephhouse