Called back to the Church
Teenager Nick Cronin feels blessed to be part of a warm and welcoming church and parish, following his confirmation at St Patrick’s College Chapel, Launceston.
Nick explained that a key moment in his faith journey occurred after coming across Launceston Catholic Parish’s online Masses during the COVID lockdown last year.
“I instantly got the sense that I was being called back to the Church,” he said.
“As soon as I watched the livestream of the Easter Mass I thought, ‘This feels right’.”
Nick, 18, of Norwood, is from a Catholic family, was baptised Catholic as an infant and attended St Finn Barr’s Catholic Primary School. However he did not complete the sacraments of initiation at primary school, perhaps due to ‘nerves or uncertainty of faith’.
Now in grade 12 at Launceston Church Grammar School, Nick came to realise that his participation in online Masses was his call from God to return to the Church. As well as attending Mass regularly once COVID restrictions lifted, Nick joined the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program and started taking part in other activities in the parish, including joining the new youth group, run by Fr Chathura Silva, and attending the night rally of the Tasmanian Catholic Youth Festival.
Nick explained that his late grandfather, Fr Peter Cronin, had also been an influence and an inspiration.
“After my grandmother passed away in 1987, he began studies at St Paul’s Seminary in Sydney and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn in December 1993, aged 59,” Nick explained.
“His parents were poor Irish immigrants and as a child, he battled through poverty, the Great Depression, the Second World War, a near-lethal bout of polio, the death of multiple siblings and all the while, completed his secondary education, a Bachelor of Economics and raised six children with my grandmother.
“To me, he is a true depiction of how God has a plan for each one of us; even though we face major hardships, He will be there to guide us through each challenge and progress us on our journey of faith, though we may be in subpar circumstances.”
Nick’s advice to other young people seeking to become more deeply involved in their faith is to do their research, get to know people in the community, become involved in parish activities, consider doing a RCIA program, go to Mass and ‘pray lots’.
He acknowledged that young people often have busy lives with many distractions.
“Especially in the lives of young people, there is a lot of stuff going on,” he said.
“Set aside time to pray, to reflect on your faith and to spend time with God. If you don’t make time for God, how does God make time for you?
“Faith is the foundation of my life really so without my faith I am nothing.”
Pictured at the top of the page are from left: Launceston Parish Priest Fr Mark Freeman and Nick Cronin, parents Merleen and Mark Cronin with older brother Stephen Cronin. Photo: Maryanne Singline.