Fr. Michael de Stoop – Parish Priest
Fr Michael de Stoop was born on 22 August 1972 in Eastwood. He comes from a big family and is the eldest son of six children.
Fr Michael went to school at Oak Hill College, Castle Hill from years 7 to 10 and he completed the HSC in 1990 doing years 11 and 12 at St Josephs’ College, Hunters Hill. In 1991, he went to the Australian Catholic University (ACU – Castle Hill Campus) where he began to study a Bachelor of Education, majoring in Technological and Applied Studies and minoring in Religious Education. In 1993, he took steps to see the Director of Vocations and spent that year discerning his vocation. In 1994, he went to the seminary at St Patrick’s, Manly. In his third year, this seminary closed and a new seminary, the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush was opened where he completed his studies for the Priesthood. These studies took place in the Catholic Institute of Sydney, Strathfield. He graduated on 17 June 2000, completing a Bachelor of Theology and an Advanced Diploma in Philosophy. Cardinal George Pell appointed Fr Michael to do some post-graduate study in Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA, during some summer intensives (June-July) which he commenced in 2013. This study consisted of two courses run by the Institute for Priestly Formation in 2013; namely: The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest; and Spiritual Direction for Seminary Spiritual Directors, together with the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius which consisted of a 30 Day retreat. In 2014 to 2016, Fr Michael completed a Masters in Christian Spirituality and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats. Fr Michael was also a student of St Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Indiana, USA, as a he commenced a course in Reflective Practices for Pastoral Supervision in January 2017 . This course involved a practicum which he completed in April 2018.
From the seminary, Fr Michael was appointed to St Charles Borromeo Parish, Ryde to prepare for his ordination to the Diaconate. He was ordained a deacon on 4 August 2000. He was then ordained to the Priesthood on 8 June 2001, and took up his first appointment at All Saints’ Parish, Liverpool on 17 June 2001. Fr Michael was then appointed Assistant to the Dean at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney (2003 to 2008). During that time he also assisted Cardinal George Pell as his Master of Ceremonies and was the Catholic Youth Services Chaplain, and the NSW Chaplain for the Knights of the Southern Cross. Cardinal Pell appointed Fr Michael as the Archdiocesan Director of Vocations on 1 June 2006 to 31 May 2015. This appointment entailed promoting the Priesthood and the Religious Life, making himself available to assist people to discern their vocations and giving assistance to those who wish to apply for the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush to study for the Priesthood. On 1 March 2009, Fr Michael was appointed as the Administrator of St Benedict’s Parish, Broadway of which he became the Parish Priest the following year. On 1 October 2015, Archbishop Anthony Fisher appointed Fr Michael as the Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish. He is currently Dean of the Archdiocese of Sydney’s South West Deanery and Director of the Initial and Ongoing Formation of Permanent Deacons.
Fr Michael is the author of the following books:
- Spiritual Direction: Who is it for & What are its Benefits? (Catholic Communications, 2005)
- The Gift of Confession: A Positive Approach to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Connor Court, 2007)
- Celibacy: What is its Lived Experience Like? A No-Holds-Barred Interview with a Catholic Priest (Archdiocese of Sydney, Vocation Centre, 2010)
- Lord You Want Me? All of Me? (Archdiocese of Sydney, Vocation Centre, 2011)
Fr Michael produced a DVD with the help of Catholic Communications in 2011 titled, “A Week in the Life of a Priest” which can be seen on YouTube.