Having a son or daughter enter religious life is a great blessing for the family. However, for the Webb family in Toowoomba, Australia, the blessings are trifold – three of the children of Paul and Fiona Webb have consecrated their lives to serve the Church. Paul and his wife have a joyfully big family with 12 musically gifted children, all of whom were home-schooled.
Fr Nathan Webb was ordained to the priesthood for the diocese of Toowoomba in June 2022. Br Isaac Seraphin OFM Cap made his First Profession with the Order of Friars Minor (Capuchins) in the following month. Sr Rose Patrick O’Connor took her First Vows with the Sisters of Life in June 2021.
“Growing up, we recited the family prayers every night and this was the pillar of our day when the whole family would be together to pray…the background of my family really helped my vocation and nurtured it from a very young age. They were very supportive when I joined the seminary,” says Fr Nathan. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Robert McGuckin of Toowoomba diocese and is currently serving as the presbyter at the Cathedral Parish.
Nancy worked as an ABC journalist before entering the convent. She was drawn to consecrated life even from the tender age of 6. Then at age 11 she received a leaflet about the Sisters of Life at a World Youth Day event in Sydney in 2008. The words, “to lay down one's life that others may live” on the leaflet left an indelible mark on her mind and she realized that’s what she wanted to do with her own life.
“The idea of a total consecration to God just kept pulling on my heart and so none of the successes at the university or in my career could fill this hole in my heart. I felt it could only be satisfied by a total gift of self which is why I decided to go down this path,” says Nancy, now known as Sr. Rose Patrick O’Connor. Sisters of Life is a congregation based in New York, USA, that has a fourth vow to “protect and enhance the sacredness of every human life.” Sr Rose is currently serving in a mission in Toronto, Canada.
Br Isaac took his First Vows on July 30, 2022, at Guardian Angel's Church in Brisbane, Australia, and received the name Br Isaac Seraphin OFM Cap. “My parents have been exceptional examples of fidelity and love, inspiring and supporting my vocation. The Marian mantle under which I grew up has also shaped my "fiat", and I am grateful to the community of the Schoenstatt movement for supporting my family and me in this faith,” he writes in the Schoenstatt movement’s newsletter. He is presently at St Anthony's Capuchin Church in Melbourne pursuing his studies and ministry as a student friar. - Shalom World
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