Fr Novelito Lim
This year marks a significant point in my life, as I celebrate my first year as a priest. It was October 23, 2015 when I was ordained as a priest in Cebu, Philippines. The incomparable joyful feeling dazed me as I received the sacrament of Holy Orders. The presence of my families and friends made this significant event in my life more exciting. Yet, all this happiness would not be possible without the support of the people who nourished my vocation.
June 2001: the first time that I entered Pope John XXIII Minor Seminary. Who would think that I would survive? I was just 12 years old that time and I had no clear idea of what a seminary is or even what a priest is and what he does.
Then came June 2005; the time that I entered the philosophy department. Although I knew that I disliked Philosophy, I still did not have a choice. I disliked it because I did not know what to expect. Perseverance and prayers from people close to me helped me to endure all the hindrances and be able to finish philosophy.
It was September 2010 when I arrived in Australia to pursue my theological studies. Bishop Joe Grech, the person who invited us to help and become a missionary in his diocese here in Australia, had been instrumental in my journey. He was the one who challenged me to serve in his Diocese.
I became a seminarian of the Diocese of Sandhurst and studied in Corpus Christi College. It was not an easy journey. We, (my fellow Filipino-Seminarians and I), needed to face the different cultures, languages and lifestyles we encountered during our formation years. Moreover, the most difficult part was trying to consider this place a home away from home.
It has been six years now since I first stepped in the so called “land down under,” and I am thankful for the experience of being able to travel around not just in the different parishes in the diocese but also interstate to get to know the people and appreciate their diverse cultures. My exposure to the different parishes aided and directed me in my first parish assignment as a priest in Wangaratta. It guided me to learn, recognize and appreciate the presence of the diverse cultures in this parish and of Australia. August 2016