Seminarian Nicholas Diedler receives candidacy to ordained ministry
Seminarian Nicholas Diedler was received by Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB as a candidate for ordination. The Mass was held at Sacred Heart Church, Thornlie Parish, on Sunday, 11 October. Photo: Ron Tan.
By Amanda Murthy
Saint Charles’ seminarian Nicholas Diedler has been formally received as a candidate for Ordination, seven years since first answering the call to a priestly vocation.
The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB at the Sacred Heart Church, Thornlie Parish, on Sunday 11 October.
Recounting the words of St Paul: “Clothe yourselves as God’s chosen ones, holy and much loved, with compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness and patience. Bear with one another and if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other… over all these things put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony,” - Archbishop Costelloe in his homily, explained that these very words are relevant to Nicholas today, as he is formally accepted as a candidate for the ordained ministry here in the Archdiocese of Perth.
“These words of St Paul describe his vocation as a Christian, as a seminarian, and especially as a man who seeks to be a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd among God’s people, for this is what a priest is called to be in God’s Church,” Archbishop Costelloe cited.
Seminarian Nicholas Diedler was received by Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB as a candidate for ordination. He shares a brief reflection with The Record. Photo: Ron Tan.
“These very qualities were displayed by Jesus in His own life, and are precisely the qualities which, through Nicholas’ acceptance formally as a candidate for priesthood in our Archdiocese, he must now re-commit himself to developing, with renewed energy and with the help of God’s grace, as each day goes by.”
Archbishop Costelloe then described the fundamental Catholic understanding of the role of the priest, as a “humble servant of God’s people, never a dictator over the flock entrusted to Him, but rather an example for the whole flock to follow”.
“This is a challenging and demanding ministry to take on. Only men with great courage and humility will be able to live up to its demands.
“It is a way of life that calls for a completely different approach to leadership and authority from that which we see in much of the secular world around us – and, of course, it is fatally easy for those called to the priesthood to perhaps unconsciously model themselves on the world’s understanding of leadership and authority rather than on the gospel understanding.”
Archbishop Costelloe ended his homily by thanking the Perth Catholic community for encouraging the candidate through their prayers, respect, honesty, and goodwill.
“Please continue to support, encourage, counsel and to pray for him. He is travelling a challenging and winding road with faith and courage. Please don’t let him make that journey alone,” Archbishop Costelloe concluded.
On this special occasion, Nicholas Diedler shares his reflection with The Record:
Archbishop Costelloe encouraged the faithful to continue to support, encourage, counsel and to pray for Nicholas Diedler as he travels through a challenging and winding road with faith and courage – at Mass held at Sacred Heart Church in Thornlie, on 11 October. Photo: Ron Tan.
This candidacy marks a significant milestone in discerning my vocation to the priesthood and of my preparations for fully accepting the responsibilities of this vocation. When I entered seminary at 19 years of age in 2014, I committed myself to the Lord, seeking to test what I at that point believed to be God’s voice calling me to be His priest.
Growing up in a strong Catholic family and having the privilege to serve as an altar boy with my brothers at Holy Mass, prepared the ground, and made me sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I had begun to consider seriously a priestly vocation in the last few years of high school, and then after engaging various career opportunities, I made the choice to enter the seminary and there seriously pursue this vocation and discern the will of God.
Gradually, I began to learn what this discernment meant as each year provided its own set of difficulties and challenges that tested this vocation and my willingness to endure. It has however, generally been my experience that the seminary provides a unique oasis for the seminarian from the business of ordinary life; a place of consistent life and quiet prayer where the seed of a priestly vocation can grow and gain strength.
It is a beautiful thing to be formed after the priestly Heart of Christ, in a community of men where the bond of brotherhood is a deep love of God and His Church and a desire to serve the Lord as His priests.
As part of our formation, we study the great mysteries of our faith, we learn of the turbulent history of the Church and see that in the midst of it all is the enduring presence of the Lord who truly abides by His promise: “I will be with you always, even to the end of the world” (Mt 28:20).
God’s fidelity to Israel despite her infidelities, and His guidance of His holy Church through the difficult stages of world history provides us with comfort and assurance that He is still with us today.
This, of course, does not relativise the evils we see in the world, and even in the structures of the Church, but it does assure us that we are not on our own, and that even if God may be silent, this does not mean He is absent, and certainly not powerless. We can therefore take courage and step out to speak the truth, especially now when it is easier to remain silent.
The Christian-life is a battle, and the aggressive secularity of the world forces us to remember this, and yet, in the mist of it all we can be cheerful. There is no need for us to fear because Christ has already conquered the world (Jn 16:33).
It was therefore a great joy for me to be accepted as a candidate for ordination for the Archdiocese of Perth in Thornlie Parish during my pastoral placement here.
I have been warmly received here, and the joy and pride that the people have expressed about my candidacy being accepted in their parish, has touched me deeply. I am therefore renewed in the profound desire that I had when I entered seminary: to be a faithful priest for the glory of God and the salvation of His holy people. Deo Gratias!