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Friday, 13 June 2014 14:30

Meet Friar Thomas McFadden

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Fr Thomas McFadden ofmcapFr Thomas is currently engaged as the full-time Vocation Director for the province of Australia, actively promoting the Capuchin way of life as a vocation to be discerned by young Catholic men. In this article, Capuchin Father John Cooper shares Fr Thomas' vocation story.

Fr Thomas McFadden ofmcap is currently engaged as the full-time Vocation Director for the province of Australia. He actively promotes the Capuchin way of life as a vocation to be discerned by young Catholic men. He accompanies these young men in their discernment. This work requires him to be frequently “on the road’’ as he moves between our various friaries around Australia.

Thomas grew up in Werrington out towards the Blue Mountains – Penrith area NSW. He was ordained a Priest in February 2013. Since then he has been very busy assisting other young men in their search for a deeper relationship with Christ and perhaps seeking to live in fraternity with the Capuchin Franciscan Friars.

He says of his own vocation to be a friar: “The Capuchin Friars were one of the Orders I investigated as I began my journey towards
Christ. I was immediately taken back by the kindness, generosity, peacefulness, prayerfulness and happiness of the friars. As I got to
know them better, I was impressed by their love for the Church, the Pope and Our Blessed Mother, by the way they prayed the Liturgy, the way they lived fraternal life together and the way they balanced and integrated a life of prayer and an active ministry of service.

Although I did not know much at that stage about the life of the Order’s founder, St Francis of Assisi, there was something about the Order’s charism that was attractive.

After reading about Francis, I was overwhelmingly inspired by his life and insights, and came to recognise his spirit in the Capuchin Friars I had come to know. I then grew to be inspired by other saints such as St Anthony of Padua and a more recent Capuchin saint, Padre Pio. These were men of heroic virtue whose lives and example intensified my desire. 

I came to the point where I discerned as much as I could from outside the Order, and I knew that the only way I could discern any more clearly was by beginning to actually live the Capuchin religious life. So after the completion of my engineering and teaching studies I joined the Capuchin postulancy program.”

After studies in Rome before his Ordination, Thomas now speaks not only English, but Italian and Spanish very well. They say that,
“When you learn another language you gain another soul.” So Thomas is triply blessed.

This article by Fr John Cooper ofmcap first appeared in the May 2014 edition of The Capuchins, the magazine of the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor in Australia.

Learn more about the Australian Capuchins.