Eight new priests ordained for the Archdiocese of Melbourne - a spring blessing on the Church on a cold September day. But the weather only served to emphasise the warmth of the welcome they received and to highlight the palpable air of joy in St Patrick’s Cathedral as these men offered their lives to God, reports Kairos and published by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.
The ordination took place on September 8, the Feast of the Birth of Our Lady. Of the eight priests ordained by Archbishop Denis Hart, four - Fr Andrew McCarter, Fr Benneth Osuagwu, Fr Jerome Santamaria and Fr Kevin Williams - completed their studies at Corpus Christi Seminary.
The other four - Fr Neil Fryer, Fr James Grant, Fr Christopher Seton and Fr Ramsay Williams - are former Anglican clergymen, members of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.
Watch the ordination ceremony at St Patrick’s Cathedral
The packed congregation in the Cathedral included friends, family and well-wishers who had travelled from near and far to be with the ordinands on this great day.
In the sanctuary were Archbishop Hart; George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney; Auxiliary Bishops of Melbourne Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop Peter Elliott and Bishop Emeritus Hilton Deakin; the Bishop of Lismore, Geoffrey Jarrett; the Ordinary of the Ordinariate, Fr Harry Entwistle; seminarians and more than 120 priests.
Each of the eight new priests has a story to tell of the pilgrimage of faith that led him to the momentous decision to devote his life to the Catholic priesthood.
Fr ANDREW MCCARTER is a ‘cradle Catholic’ from the Melbourne suburb of Reservoir, who has felt called to the priesthood since childhood and remembers setting up an altar, saying and practising ‘Mass’ privately.
His late uncle, Fr John McCarter, was a strong source of inspiration, yet Andrew at first felt that his more immediate vocation was to teaching. He studied Arts and Teaching at ACU Aquinas and Computer Education at Melbourne University, where he graduated with a Master’s degree in Education.
It was when he attended World Youth Day in Cologne in 2005 that Andrew realised that his call to the priesthood had become clear. His next step was to enter Corpus Christi seminary.
Andrew sees his priesthood partly in terms of mission. “My hope is that people will realise that I am here to help them enter the joys of Heaven and to deepen their relationship with God,” he says.
FR BENNETH OSUAGWU was born in Nigeria, the fourth of five children in a family with “a strong Catholic background”. Like Andrew McCarter’s, his vocation goes back to childhood. “I have known that I was called to the priesthood since I was 12 years old, since making my first Holy Communion,” he says.
FULL STORY United by one call (CAM)