As the Catholic Church attempts to reinvent itself as a safe place, the roots of that reinvention will almost certainly be found in seminaries like Missionaries of God’s Love. A series of unprepossessing brick buildings tucked away in a quiet suburb in Melbourne’s east, this is where 18 young men live for seven or more years as they train to become priests.
And if the church ever does achieve that reinvention, its culture change may be guided by priests like Father Daniel Strickland. Behind friendly brown eyes and a soft voice is one of the youngest Catholic priests in Australia’s religious history. He looks a decade younger than his 41 years. Originally from Perth, he was ordained in 2008 and today is the director of Missionaries of God’s Love.