Broad Approach

The parish of Springmount in Victoria (near Ballarat) takes in the smaller parishes of Creswick, Clunes, Newlyn and Learmont.

Ryan Bennett has been Parish Priest there for a year, and manages the four churches under his stewardship with lay help. He is intent on building a strong pastoral care team, and is also working on strengthening relationships ecumenically, in particular with the Uniting Church.

Ryan’s interest in SSM was sparked in conversations with SSM’s Father Des Benfield and the Bishop of Ballarat, Gary Weatherill, who is Visitor to the Australian Province. He attended his first Chapter Meeting in Darwin in 2012 and interest has grown from there.

Ryan’s training for the priesthood took place in Ballarat, and he was ordained there in 2008. He went on to become Assistant Priest at the cathedral before moving to Springmount.

He says SSM’s broad approach to faith with a focus on simplicity holds particular appeal.

Ryan fits naturally into the Bishop’s thinking, as one of the many young people with a deep vein of altruism who could be attracted to join SSM, with its open catholic view of the world.

Ryan joined the brothers in the priory in Lesotho, Southern Africa for three weeks this year, living alongside them in community.

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