Newly ordained Stefan Matuszek: Why I became a priest
STEFAN Matuszek knew two things about priesthood before his second year of university.
He knew it was something that you were called to and that he hadn't been called.
Then one day it hit him "like a semi-trailer".
"For me it was a huge surprise (when I was called to the priesthood)," he said.
"I tried to ignore it but it was that strong that even within a week I just had to do something.
"I just knew in my heart of hearts that this was what God wanted of me."
At 27, the newly ordained priest is one of youngest in the Lismore Diocese.
It's a journey that's taken seven years of formation study at the Vianney College in Wagga Wagga where the former deacon, now priest, studied theology, philosophy, spirituality and pastoral work.
As an ordained priest, Father Matuszek will now be able to offer mass, teach, visit nursing homes and hospitals and bring sacraments.
"You become a bit like a bridge between God and people and you can bring sacraments," he said.
Father Matuszek grew up in a Catholic family in Tasmania.
He said his strengths were working with people, knowing how to laugh at himself and being able to adapt to different situations.
He likened being ordained to getting married, only to the church and for eternity.
"When people get married they say it's for the rest of their life but for me it's the rest of eternity," he said.
"It's such a huge grace and for me, overwhelming doesn't even begin to describe it."
Father Matuszek's ordainment took place at the St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Ballina last night.