Like so many other things this year, the annual ordinations to the priesthood were postponed due to COVID-19. The set date of 12 September came and went as churches remained closed. However, with the reopening of many places of worship, the ordinations to the priesthood and diaconate will now go ahead.
During this year we have had among our parishes, Deacon Jude Johnson. Jude is a seventh year student for the priesthood at Corpus Christi Seminary, Carlton. Originally from Myanmar, Jude arrived in Australia back in 2013 to continue his studies in Theology and to prepare for the priesthood. He had already completed a number of years training in the seminary in Myanmar prior to coming to Australia. The seminary in Myanmar is much more self-sufficient than our seminary here in Carlton. Among other things Jude was appointed assistant barber in his early years in Myanmar and he also was rostered on cooking duty. Little did he, or we, know how useful those skills would turn out to be during lockdown!
While in Australia Jude has completed his Masters in Theology and fulfilled all the requirements for priestly ordination. He has thrown himself into the Melbourne Church and learned much about Melbourne parishes, way of life and local idiom. While in Camberwell, Deepdene, Balwyn and Surrey Hills Wattle Park he has assisted with sacrament preparation and planning, pastoral care, archiving, and administration. We have been blessed to have him as part of our team this year.
Jude was ordained a deacon in Myanmar last January while on a home visit. He will be ordained to the priesthood at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, on Saturday, 5 December at 10.30 am by Archbishop Commensoli. Jude will be joined by three other deacons who will also be ordained to the priesthood on that day: James Baptist, Simeon Anthony and Jude-Thaddaeus Ezeme.
On Sunday, 6 December, Jude will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at Our Lady of Victories Basilica at 4.00 pm. This Mass will be live-streamed for those who would like to join Jude in celebrating his first Mass. There are a limited number of places available for parishioners to attend the Basilica. If you would like to join us, you can use our Trybooking system to book one of 20 places that Jude has reserved for our parishioners.
Melbourne Archdiocese will also ordain three men to the permanent diaconate on Friday, 11 December: Mario Pablo Chavez, Juma Emilio Tangum Lofornk and William Malouk Majak Daw.
And a further five men from Corpus Christi Seminary will be ordained to the diaconate as part of their journey to the priesthood. In particular we wish Samuel Pearson well for his ordination on 4 December. Samuel was on pastoral placement in Camberwell, Balwyn and Deepdene Parish in 2018.
To complete the ordination period Monsignor Greg Bennet will be ordained Bishop of Sale on Tuesday, 8 December in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sale. We wish Monsignor Greg every blessing for his ministry as Bishop of Sale.
By Fr Brendan Reed