Like much of Western Europe and Ireland, the Australian Dominicans have seen a decrease in vocations to the Order in the past number of decades. However, a presence in chaplaincies in universities that the Order is associated with has seen a resurgence of interest in the ministry and vocation of the friars. The Australian province now has a number of men in formation and just before I arrived here, the province accepted four men (pictured below) into their postulancy programme (pre-novitiate). This is very positive news for them.
As a member of the province that was in some way responsible for the foundation of the Australian Dominicans, there is a deep sense of pride in the contribution that the Irish friars have made here. As the visit to Australia comes to a close, I am earnestly praying for and increase in vocations to both our provinces so that the mission of preaching and the proclamation of the Gospel will continue well into the future.
Finally, a word of grateful thanks to my Australian brothers for the warmth of their hospitality and friendship which will linger long in my memory.