Home' The Southern Cross : March 2015 Contents Page 16 March 2015
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He is one of the youngest priests working
in the Adelaide Archdiocese and he’s not
afraid to admit his journey to the altar was
not initially on his road map.
“All my life I wanted to be a doctor. Since
I was a little child,” says Father Herick
Bolanos CS, 32.
This month he celebrates the first
anniversary of his ordination in the
Archdiocese of Oaxaca, in Mexico. He was
posted to Adelaide by the Scalabrini Order
he belongs to and has taken up the role of
chaplain to Adelaide’s Spanish speaking
Catholic community of about 100 people,
a role he is relishing: “I’m very happy
leading this community because they are
very energetic and full of ideas,” he says.
Based at the Mater Christi Parish, Seaton,
Fr Bolanos says he was the first born
of three children and keen to follow his
father’s footsteps as a GP.
“So I went to college to study medicine
when I was 18,” he says. “But when I was
there I wasn’t happy, even though it was
my dream to get into medicine and to
come to this college.”
Fr Bolanos never completed his first
year of medicine. By 19, he had entered
the seminary after an encounter with a
Scalabrini priest and a subsequent visit to
the regional house in Mexico City.
“I liked what I saw,” he says. “The priests
lived very simply and they looked happy
with their life,” he says.
“After that, I decided to be a priest.”
His parents and brother and sister were
not so convinced.
“They thought I would be back from the
seminary in one month,” he says.
“So, I went, and I didn’t come back home
for a year and they still thought it strange.”
Fr Bolanos’ seminary life involved studies
in theology, pastoral care of migrants,
English and Italian.
In Adelaide, he leads Spanish-speaking
Mass every Saturday at Kilburn’s St
Brigid’s Church and monthly at St Luke’s
Church at Noarlunga Downs. Fr Bolanos
also assists the Mater Christi Church.
A highlight so far for the young priest was
celebrating Mass with Pope Francis at St
Peter’s Square more than a year ago.
“It was awesome,” says Fr Bolanos.
“The Pope was very kind and you could
feel his deep spirituality and his simplicity.”
The need for St Patrick’s Technical
College to provide new employment
pathways for young people in
the northern suburbs has been
recognised by the awarding of a
$5000 scholarship to the college’s
business development manager
“With the pending closure of the
General Motors Holden plant
at Elizabeth and the follow on
effect on the supplier chain,
employment prospects in general
manufacturing are expected to
decline dramatically,” Mr Kelly wrote
in his submission to NGS Super
Later this year Mr Kelly will
undertake a study tour to the
United Kingdom where there are
education and training programs in
comparable situations to Adelaide’s
St Patrick’s already provides
training with direct industry input
and support from employers,
industry bodies and training
providers involved in a number of
locally active employment sectors.
However, regional employment
growth forecasts are in new sectors
including advanced manufacturing
and engineering; transport and
logistics, and health sciences.
This growth is being backed by
investment through state and local
government initiatives. As a result,
St Patrick’s is looking to expand
its course offerings in support of
the opportunities this presents for
young people in its community.
Mr Kelly said the study tour would
include a number of University
Technical Colleges (UTC) in the
West Midlands, Yorkshire and the
Humber and North-West regions of
England. These regions have similar
workforce, youth population and
youth unemployment profiles to
those of Northern Adelaide.
University Technical Colleges
are a new class of school being
introduced to the United Kingdom
education system. They work
with a local sponsor university and
regional employers to develop and
deliver curriculum and vocational
skills training for students aged 14
The six UTCs identified specialise
in industries most relevant to the
current and future employment
growth forecast for Northern
Mr Kelly said he was thrilled to be
awarded the scholarship by NGS
Super and was looking forward
to investigating how UTCs have
collaborated with industry sectors.
“The findings will then be applied
to the Northern Adelaide setting
in order to develop education
and training partnerships with
local employers - the aim being
to provide enhanced employment
outcomes for the young people
of Northern Adelaide, in Northern
Adelaide,” he said.
St Patrick’s learns from UK
From Mexico to Seaton
HOME FOR NOW: Fr Herick Bolanos (centre) with his family (L-R) father Martin
Bolanos, aunt Jose Bolanos, mother Marcelina Chavez, sister Arely, niece Sofia and
By Rebecca DiGirolamo
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