The Somascan community has celebrated the historic ordination of its first Australian priest, Fr Christopher de Sousa. Source: The eRecord.
Fr de Sousa, who became Australia’s first solemnly professed Somascan last year, was ordained in Perth on May 11 by Perth Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton with about 1000 people gathering to witness the celebration.
Bishop Sproxton’s joy was visible as he accepted Fr de Sousa’s solemn oaths of obedience and service. In his homily, Bishop Sproxton said communities want and need, above all, priests who are men of God.
“They want leaders who can help them grow spiritually; men who know God and understand something of God’s ways.
“Chris has very generously opened himself up to God by listening to the call to follow Christ in the priesthood. (Like Jacob) he has learnt to wrestle with God. As a result, he has come to know God more deeply and to appreciate God’s awesome ways in providing for our true happiness,” Bishop Sproxton explained.
“Let us pray that [Fr] Chris will continue to grapple with God and that these experiences will benefit the people he is sent to serve both in Australia and other lands. May he be what he is called to be: a man of God.”
A Perth local, Fr de Sousa grew up in the parish, with his ordination touching the hearts of those who knew him from his childhood, and of the special calling to the vocation that God had clearly placed in his life.
Speaking about the journey to the priesthood in his priestly vote of thanks, Fr de Sousa said he did not reach the priesthood alone.
“It all started and has been continuously nurtured by my parents,” he explained.
“As we pray for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life on this Feast of the Good Shepherd, we must recognise that support for these vocations comes from within our own families, because our families also receive graces from those who have their lives consecrated to God,” Fr de Sousa said.