Q&A with formation student, Dylan Katthagen
Meet Dylan Katthagen and find out about his current activities, his advice for those considering ordained ministry, his thoughts on “Being Together: Embracing Joy” and Reconciliation, what he loves most about studying at St Francis College, his secret skill and what day he would love to re-live and why
Where do you currently live and where do you worship?
My wife (Eve), my two young boys (Jude and Freddie) and I live in Burpengary and we worship at St Mark’s, Clayfield.
How long have you been involved in the Anglican Church and in what roles?
For the last four and a half years, I have been a part of the Anglican Church of Southern Queensland, serving in a myriad of positions, including liturgical assistant, ministry intern, preacher and night service coordinator.
What is your current role, and what does your role involve?
At present, I am an ordinand / formation student of our Diocese. This entails theological studies, parish placement training and service, clinical pastoral education, intensive weekends, and a whole lot of prayer and reflection.
What activities are you currently engaged in as a formation student?
Having just moved to a parish with a more traditional expression of Anglican worship, I wanted to spend some time being immersed and involved in the liturgy. While maintaining this engagement, I plan to use the coming months to dive into school, hospital and prison ministry. My desire is to ascertain a greater appreciation of these ministries and to create a foundational skillset that could be utilised to benefit our Diocese in the future.
Why and when did you become drawn to ordained ministry?
Prior to entering into the Anglican Church, I was heavily involved in Protestant Christian ministries, such as preaching, Bible studies and community engagement. Yet, after tasting the eclectic and comprehensive ethos of this Anglican Diocese, I just knew that this is where I need to lay down my roots and develop.
What advice do you have for people considering entering ordained ministry in our Diocese?
Just go for it! Irrespective of whether the process or end meets your initial expectations, being immersed in a supportive, reflective, faithful and prayerful community can only benefit you and your vocation.
What do you enjoy most about studying at St Francis College?
The sacred space. On the grounds, you are engrossed in the lush and tranquil gardens or prayerfully engaged in chapel. Inside the classroom, you find yourself plunging into deep thought and conversation in a safe and encouraging environment.
What has been one of the highlights of your time as a formation student so far?
During the second formation weekend, an unexpected feeling of peace passed from my head to my toes while I sat in chapel and reflected upon receiving my formation “Tau cross”. Up until this point, formation and vocation had felt, at least primarily, individualistic: “What and where is God calling you?” Indeed, “you” is both singular and plural in the Church context, and the formation events, tasks and developments have certainly been group orientate. Nonetheless, the emphasis, at least for me, had been largely on my own calling. However, receiving the formation cross as a cohort, re-adjusted this imbalance. I was reminded that, like the body of Christ, formation is both individual and corporate (1 Cor 12.12-27). It is amazing how something so simple could be ever so meaningful (sounds Franciscan!).
What are your plans and goals for the next 12 months?
I will complete my Graduate Certificate of Theological Studies and clinical pastoral education training, and I will continue my Master of History and formation training.
Can you tell us a little about your personal faith journey?
I am someone who found faith in their late teens and has thrived ever since.
What is your favourite scripture and why?
One passage that I hold dear is the Beatitudes (Matthew 5.1-12). Here, Jesus’ unconventional inclusivity and unending generosity pierces established norms, and it reverses and redefines God’s covenant community. In an instant, the game is flipped, the rules are changed, and the parameters are expanded forevermore.
What person of faith inspires you the most and why?
Leading Biblical scholar N.T. Wright for his ability to amalgamate academic rigour and Anglican ministry.
2022’s Diocesan theme is “Being Together: Embracing Joy”. What are some practical ways that we can celebrate the way differences help to make us whole and the importance of diversity in our unity?
Jesus prayed for the Church to manifest a trinitarian unity that evangelises and transforms (John 17.20-26), and so should we. Within the Church, it is necessary to live, not only as comprehensive Anglicans, but, as eclectic and ecumenical Christians. We must endeavour then to be Christ-like human beings, striving for unified diversity in our homes, parishes, workplaces, schools, hospitals, prisons, and other contexts. In practice, this means further dialogue and learning how to live and work with those of differing opinions and experiences.
Why is Reconciliation with First Nations peoples important?
Seeking forgiveness from, and offering love and support to, our First Peoples is central to the Christian gospel.
Why is the Uluru Statement From the Heart important for Anglicans?
The Statement gives us an opportunity to hear and work with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait brothers and sisters –effecting Reconciliation on their terms and potentially initiating a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.
What is the kindest gesture you have ever received or witnessed?
I often find time slowing down, the noise reducing and my attention increasing when my sons (3 and 5) make something simple for me with their hands. There is something so kind in receiving a personal drawing or sculpture that demonstrates a lot of effort and love.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received and who gave you this advice?
I am not quite sure of its origin, but as far back as I can remember I learned that “you can do anything”.
What do you do in your free time to recharge and relax?
Reading or going for a stroll.
What is your earliest memory?
Sneaking over, as a 4 or 5 year old, to my neighbour’s house to join in their authentic Indian dinners.
What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently?
Recently my 3-year-old son wanted me to hold plush toys and throw them away once he blew air on them (like a dragon breathing intense fire). When it came to his giraffe, I made it charge at him. When it got to his face he found it so funny that he couldn’t blow and, instead, fell over laughing!
What makes you feel nostalgic and why?
Catching up with my high school friends and rekindling old stories and experiences.
What is your secret skill?
I love to play my electric drumkit, especially when I am supposed to be studying.
What day would you like to re-live and why?
Just before COVID-19 hit, I joined a team of archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at a site called Khirbet El Rai. I would love to travel around, engage and explore more of the ancient world.
Editor’s note: August is Vocations Month. Vocations Month is intended to stimulate discussion about vocations to ministry. Activities this year include the walkLIFE Vocations hike from Mt Coot-tha to the Cathedral on 10 August (Ekka public holiday – please note date correction) and Seekers Day at St Francis College on 3 September. Visit the Anglican Church Southern Queensland website for more information or email The Rev’d Canon Sarah Plowman directly at firstname.lastname@example.orgJump to next article