First Torres Strait Islander ordained deacon

Deacon Kopel Gibuma at his ordination (Anglican Ordinariate)

History was made last Saturday when Deacon Kopel Gibuma became the first Torres Strait Islander to be ordained to the transitional diaconate in the Catholic Church. Source:

Deacon Gibuma was ordained for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in St Francis Xavier’s Catholic Church, in Cairns.

“In observance of Torres Strait Island tradition, Mr Gibuma was brought to the door of the church by fellow Islanders, accompanied by singing, guitars and the sound of traditional drummers,” the Ordinariate says on its website.

“He was handed over by them to Monsignor Harry Entwistle, Ordinary of the Ordinariate and Bishop James Foley, Bishop of Cairns who was to ordain him on behalf of the Ordinariate.

“The service was an impressive blend of Catholic sacramental worship, devout piety which were enhanced by Torres Strait traditional customs. It was appropriate that the gospel was read by the Rev Ralph Madigan who is the first permanent deacon of Aboriginal descent to be ordained in the Diocese of Cairns.”

Following the service, Deacon Gibuma and the worshippers were greeted by traditional singing and dancing offered by Torres Strait islander singers and musicians.

Deacon Gibuma will assist Fr Gordon Barnier, the parish priest of St Clare, Cairns with Holy Cross Dauan (an island in the Torres Strait).


Historic day for the Ordinariate and Catholic Church (Anglican Ordinariate)

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From Parish of Our Lady of The Way, North Sydney & Lavender Bay. The first Mass of the day on YouTube

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