Meet our (other) Chaplain – Fr. Paul

Tell us about your home and how you ended up here?
I come from Manus Island, north of Papua New Guinea. I am the eighth of the nine siblings; eight boys and one girl. I grew up in a strong family, living with our extended family. My father was the leader of the clan and a well-known character to the tribe and all of my siblings,
except my younger brother and I, are married with children and grandchildren. I am blessed with 38 grand-nieces and nephews and 24 great-grand nieces and nephews.

I was ordained in 2005 as a Carmelite Priest for the Australia/Timor-Leste Province. Since ordination, I have been placed in two parishes. I spent about eight years at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Wentworthville in the western suburb of Sydney and approximately three years at Our
Lady of Mount Carmel, Coorparoo, which is in the south of Brisbane. I now reside in Melbourne, with our Carmelite Community.

I have known of Whitefriars College and its’ great work since I joined the Order in 2000. Since 2017, I have worked here as a part-time Chaplain. Being a Carmelite and belonging to the Province, I am proud of be part of the College full-time in 2019. I love the friendliness
and welcoming environment, provided by both students and staff. I feel connected to those who have gone before us and inspired me, particularly the founding father of the College, the late Fr Frank Shortis. Like Fr Shortis, I am very supportive of and passionate about Catholic Education, especially where our Order is involved, and am looking forward to getting more involved in the school’s Social Justice stream.

How would your friends describe you?
I am a ‘people person’! They might say I am very sincere, generous and kind, gifted and a quiet achiever. I am loyal to my friends and faithful in my ministry. I have a great sense of humour, but am also deeply spiritual. I am very sensitive to all needs.

What are some of your favourite school memories? 
I was a great leader. I was appointed Primary School Captain, High School Prefect and President of the SRC, at the minor and major seminary school and won a ‘Good Role Model’ prize.

What is your own private mission?
Coming from Papua New Guinea, I believe my life experience aids my pastoral approach. Having lived in PNG and travelling parts of Asia, I have developed a great passion for the wellbeing and education of Jesus’ mission. In today’s age, I believe in helping young men to be
support each other and to build up the community that they belong to. My goal is to reach out to them, (staff, families of currents students, past students and their families and friends of the College) and accompany them in developing their own gifts. I want each member of our
community to be great ambassadors of the College and citizens in the mission of God.

Pope Francis encouraged us, “not to give up on our dreams”and to do our best as we don’t have to be the best.
However, as Thomas Menton said; the biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.”

en English