Andrew Bass became Sydney's newest Catholic priest when ordained by Bishop Kevin Manning in St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta, on June 27.
The 34-year-old, an assistant parish priest at the cathedral, is a former parishioner of Baulkham Hills where his family lives, and was born in Harare, Zimbabwe.
In the first 10 years of his life, Father Andrew also lived in South Africa, the United States and Saudi Arabia as his father Michael, an executive in the oil industry, was posted to jobs around the world.
The family arrived in Australia when Father Andrew was 11.
He said that living among the expatriate Christian community was "a transformative experience'' in his development as a Christian.
"We were part of a close-knit community, not unlike the earliest communities of Christians, mindful that under Sharia law all Christian worship is banned,'' he said.
"Despite the risks, my parents continued to practise their faith.
"They refused to bow to an idea that they couldn't practise their faith, so Mass was celebrated secretly in the homes of several families under the guise of social gatherings.'' (Strong witness to the faith by parents = key component in the development of priestly or religious vocations.)