Anniversary of Ordinations -Melbourne
On 27th July, 2016, one Bishop and six priests celebrated 58 years of priestly ordination in our Chapel. This was the class of 1958 from Corpus Christi Seminary at Werribee.
It was the initiative of Father Anthony Guelen, a resident priest here at St. Joseph’s home, to organize this celebration and bring it to fruition.
The ‘58 class members present were: Bishop Hilton Deakin, Rev. John Brady, Rev.Clem Cafarella, Rev. Gerard Dowling, Rev. Anthony Guelen, Rev. John McKinnon and Rev, James Kierce.
The fraternal warmth and friendship of the group permeated the Chapel in a tangible way, making this a very meaningful celebration for all present.
Bishop Hilton Deakin was principal celebrant, welcome and introduction was given by Fr. John Brady and the homily was delivered by Fr. John McKinnon. Excerpts from the homily follow:
“When we fronted up to get ordained many long years ago, we thought that we had found the pearl of great price that we had sought for so long. We thought we knew in broad terms how our priestly lives would unfold and the blessings they would bring.
“As our lives have turned out, we were wrong. Yet I wonder if, in missing out on the pearl of great price, which we thought we had almost in our grasp, we have stumbled across the treasure in the field, that we did not expect, were not looking for, and yet that could prove to be so wonderful rewarding for us.
“We expected hardships, but had no idea what they might in fact be. Western culture changed radically during our lifetime. And now we have the Royal Commission. The fallout has been harrowing. We cannot do much with others’ reactions; but we can choose our response. We can keep loving, we can learn humility. Together, love and humility lead to freedom. Might that be the treasure? Counter-intuitive! But what else do we expect from Jesus?
Speaking of a recent gathering of the group, Fr. John said that he was honestly struck “by our quiet contentment with what has been and our lack of fear at what lies ahead.”
“Death, after all, is simply the gateway to the super-charged experience of loving God. I suppose much of our prayer these days is telling God that we yearn for his face (as the psalmist puts it). The prospect that it might be just around the corner gives depth and content to our words.
“What has kept us together, I think, and is the secret of our ease in each other’s company, is that we have allowed ourselves to grow under the guiding hand of the God who loves us.”
The luncheon that followed was a time for story telling, reminiscing and sharing of photos.
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