Journey to Ordination

A successful law career in Sydney was never enough for Newcastle-born Graham Fullick.

Despite 15 years in private legal practice culminating as a shareholder and partner in the well-established and regarded firm Madison Marcus, Graham came to realise people needed not so much a lawyer as a change of heart. And his heart burnt beyond the law.

During his legal career in Sydney he was heavily involved in parish activities, most notably at St Vincent’s at Ashfield and Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral with young adults Bible study. He also volunteered for St Vincent de Paul night patrol, the Little Sisters of the Poor at Randwick and was involved with Taize prayer at St Patrick’s, Church Hill and others.

He could see the good work, but that was still not enough either. He wanted to go to the Sacred Heart of the good work: Jesus Christ. Immersed in regular Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Confession, Graham finally gave into God and entered Sydney’s the Good Shepherd Seminary.

Back in Newcastle visiting his parents in 2014, life changed forever at Midnight Mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral. Maitland-Newcastle’s Bishop Bill had formerly been Fr William Wright, parish priest at Liverpool where Graham had been a seminarian in a mission team. Bishop Bill “collared” Graham at that Midnight Mass and said he’d happily ordain him on the spot.

Fifty years before, in November 1964, Graham Charles Fullick was born two months premature with his identical twin brother Craig Gregory at Royal Newcastle Hospital. After almost 11 years of marriage, his parents Jill and Greg Fullick of Cessnock were delighted with their “undiagnosed” twins. A young curate from St Mary’s at The Hill in Newcastle, Fr Lex Levey, urgently baptised the twins the day they were born.

The boys grew up in Cessnock and were educated at St Patrick’s Primary School, where Sr M. Genevieve Henderson RSJ was principal, and Graham was school captain. The twins continued their education at Marist Brothers’ in Maitland. The family moved to Tenambit in 1980 and home life was a happy Christian household of regular Mass and hard work: a domestic Church.

Craig and Graham completed Arts degrees at the University of Newcastle and both moved to Sydney in 1986. Graham began a part-time Law degree and legal practice qualification at UTS while working in the NSW Attorney-General’s and Justice department as well as the NSW Rural Assistance Authority at the time of the Newcastle earthquake. He assisted with hundreds of low or no-interest legal mortgage and conveyancing matters over five years for small business victims of the Newcastle earthquake.

The rest of his time was spent in the Downing Centre Magistrates’ Court Sydney in Criminal and Civil jurisdictions where after eight years he eventually assisted as Chamber Magistrate. Subsequently he went into private legal practice for 15 years.

After being collared at that Midnight Mass in 2014 and then a long pastoral placement at Nelson Bay, Graham was sent to the mature-age seminary Pontifical Beda College (St Bede’s) in Rome, following in the able footsteps of John Lovell. After 55 years, Fr Lex Levey, who baptised Graham, will present him to Bishop Bill for Ordination while Sr Genevieve looks on and the now Fr John Lovell concelebrates.

Graham’s mother died in August 2016 after 62 years of wonderful marriage. Deacon Graham Charles Fullick’s Ordination Mass is on the Feast of the Chair of St Peter, Apostle, the same day as his dear mother’s birthday, 22 February.

You can find out more information about the Ordination here.

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