About Frank O’Dea SSS
I am a member of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation founded by St Peter Julian Eymard in the mid-nineteenth century. For twenty years I was a brother in this order and in this capacity, spent most of my time cooking for the various communities where I was assigned around Australia: Bowral, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Toowoomba.
I found the Council of Vatican II in the 1960s a very exciting time and eagerly followed the news of this extraordinary event as it unfolded. A phenomenon that occurred after the council was that many brothers from religious orders felt the call to priesthood. I was one of them.
I did my studies at a special seminary in Sydney for ‘late vocations’ or ‘mature vocations’ as we preferred to be called albeit with tongue in cheek. I was very fortunate in that I had always been an avid reader, so was well prepared for the four year study program. I was ordained at the age of fifty.
My keenness for reading prompted me to continue studying after ordination and, though I am not a professional theologian, I managed to write articles for journals and then this book.
I was born into a Catholic family in Melbourne, the second of six children, just as the Great Depression began. After primary and secondary schooling I did a Diploma in Electrical Engineering and worked for four years with the State Electricity Commission. Correction! I didn’t quite finish the course as the Lord called me to live the religious life. I responded with a lot of trepidation and a little reluctance, but it has been a life which has been extraordinarily enriching.
As a religious of the Blessed Sacrament, my understanding and love for the Eucharist has evolved over these many years, and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to share my experience with you, the reader.