Conventual Franciscan Brother ministers in Melbourne, Australia
For the past year, Brother Thomas Fetz has been doing ministry under The Australian Delegation of Our Lady Help of Christians, which is under the jurisdiction of St. Bonaventure Province centered in Chicago, IL. Brother Fetz ministers to the suburb outside of Melbourne. His favorite work so far has been visiting a local mental hospital where he plays music with his guitar for patients either struggling addictions or mental illnesses. Brother Fetz shared that some of his visitations held some heartfelt moments. His music ministry also includes playing for Sunday Masses each week. During the Triduum celebrations, he had the opportunity to direct the choir and teach them new music. Brother Fetz’s community includes Korean friar who are chaplains for the local Korean Catholic community. He will begin teaching a first communion class to the Korean community and expressed his excitement to learn some Korean from them. Brother Fetz helps feed the poor with the local Missionaries of Charity when his school schedule permits him.
Brother Fetz shared that going to Australia was not much of a culture shock as it was a culture rock in his shoe. He found himself in a first world country where the language was the same, everything looked similar, and yet it was slightly different. Brother Fetz has learned that there is unique strength amongst things that initially might be uncomfortable or different. Above everything, Brother Fetz has learned that no matter where he goes, God’s generosity is never outdone and He’s always got new and unexpected gifts to give in every circumstance.