Fr James Grant was born in 1975, professed First Vows in 2005 and was ordained a priest in 2013. To complete his studies for the priesthood he studied Spirituality at the Angelicum University in Rome. He is currently living in Dutton Park and is the Postulant Director. The autobiography below was written in the late-2000's.
I was in early primary school when my mother told me about the Church’s need for more priests and I boldly exclaimed that I would become one. This idea stayed with me throughout my school years, (though I kept it to myself). In my first year out of school, after a conversation with a priest, I became convinced that this was what I wanted to do and where the Lord was calling me.
At this time, I had a strong desire to help build up the Church yet I was also concerned by the fact that so many of my friends had stopped practising their faith. For this reason, I decided to first experience “the world” before joining the seminary, in the hope that this would help build bridges. Over the next few years I worked at a few different odd and began a Bachelor of Business degree. The problem was that the longer I postponed, the more I began to lose my original inspiration. However, at the age of 22, I regained this desire and made initial steps to join the seminary. Yet, there was another twist to the story as, after some discernment, I concluded that I had got it all wrong and that priesthood was not for me! Hence I enthusiastically began to pursue the marriage path.
However, the desire for religious life never fully left me and it was, once again, a conversation with a priest that helped me realise this. Yet I now had another dilemma as I also desired marriage. “Lord”, I would ask, “what is it that you want me to do? What vocation will bring me greatest happiness and fulfilment? Is it religious life or marriage?” A great inner struggle developed, until finally, I was given the advice to not worry about it, that the Lord’s will is often found in the normalness of everyday life. I just needed to continue working at the job that I was at and remain open. The key for me was trusting in the Lord and it wasn’t long after that I believe I found what I was looking for.
I was on my lunch break from work, walking down a Melbourne Street, when I heard my name ‘James’ being called out. I turned around and saw Father Robert Stewart, the Capuchin Vocations director, whom I had met briefly a few times before. Father Robert proceeded to tell me about his own vocation story, which I could definitely relate to. He then told me about the Capuchin spirituality, which filled me with great joy. I felt like someone had read my heart and was putting into words, my own spirituality and my deepest heart’s desire. To be a “lesser brother” and to bring Jesus to the people in this way. To live humbly, simply and joyfully the Catholic faith, in a more radical way. This was me. I just hadn’t been able to work it out for myself. I felt a deep sense of inner peace and later, when I visited the Friars in Hawthorn, I felt a real sense of belonging. It was as though I had finally found my home. Not long after I was thrilled to be accepted as a Capuchin postulant.
Go to: Our Men in Formation