A Personal Story
WELCOME! Thanks for taking the time to visit our website. I'm glad you've stopped here to see our page. I'm Brian Mascord, a diocesan priest and the Vocation Director of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
I hope you don't mind if I share with you some of my own journey that brought me to this point?
I often wonder how it was that my priesthood came to be, but the best way to describe it is that I had tremendous people who gave me great examples of what it was to respond to God in the everyday living of their lives. This helped me to see how I could respond to God in my life.
I've always known that God was there. My parents and extended family played a big part in sharing their faith with me, and many others strengthened it by sharing theirs and helping me to recognise God's presence. None of these people were incredibly religious, but they were filled with faith. So, this is where the story of my journey to the priesthood has to begin...
You might think that would make the choice of priesthood relatively easy, but that's NOT the case for me. It was through a series of events and experiences that I came to recognise that my path was going to be somewhat "different" from the paths in life that my friends were taking. In many ways it was a real struggle to decide what God was asking me to be. I say "be" because priesthood is about 'being' and not necessarily about 'doing'.
There was confusion and questioning along the way. Eventually I reached the point of asking what this was all about and asking God for help in deciding what the future might hold. I wasn't overly keen on the idea of priesthood and it took me a number of years to finally listen to what God was asking of me. It was only when I gave over to God that I began to understand where I was being directed.
God amazed me as I was opened up to opportunities to see where God was. Some of these opportunities were funny, some were incredibly emotional, because I knew these times were not of my making but of God's. In reality, in these situations I was being opened up to a truth and that truth was that God was there and allowing me to fall in love.
That made me see that my image of priesthood and of God was changing. I needed that time with God, I needed to respond to God by being involved in the life of the community. It was here that I began to hear people 'popping the question', so to speak, "Brian, you'd make a good priest, have you ever thought about it?" or "When are you going to stop fooling around and think about going into the seminary?" I still wasn't sure, and when the time came and I went to the seminary, I still wondered if this was what God really wanted.
My grandmother clinched it for me when she said that she wouldn't be here for my ordination. This was when I realised that it was all much bigger than I was. I had to learn to trust what God had in store for me. The Lord spoke very clearly and I heard.
I have now been ordained for 25 years and I continue to listen to how the Lord is calling me every day. Mostly this is through those with whom I work - good and honest people who are continually revealing the face of God by their words and actions. I have no doubt that this priestly life is the one that God meant for me and it brings me great joy and happiness.
So, to all of you - go find God! And let God find you!
You may ask "Where?"
Wherever your heart gets stirred by beauty...
Wherever you forget yourself in encountering something bigger and better than you...
Wherever you're moved to tears because you can't stand how wonderful it all is.
That is where God is looking for you!
But most of all, listen to God in the people who call you out of your comfort zone, into something different and wonderful - and trust God's call.
If you would like to talk more about this call of God, contact my office on (02) 4979 1109 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I look forward to hearing from you.