Brisbane’s Cathedral of St Stephen successfully managed to host an Ordination for four new priests last night, despite racing the clock to beat an imminent COVID19 lockdown.
Three of the four new priests, Fr Francis Fernandes, Fr Jack Ho and Fr William Aupito Iuliano, were ordained for the Archdiocese.
The fourth priest, Fr Luke Bulley CP, was ordained for the Passionist Order.
As Fr Bulley had spent formative years in Brisbane, and had been a peer of the other three priests early in their discernment process, it was fitting all four were ordained together.
Originally scheduled for 7.00pm on the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul (June 29) , the Ordination was brought forward by three and one-half hours, finishing 20 minutes ahead of the mandated lockdown at 6.00pm.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had only announced the lockdown at 11.00am that morning.
In spite of the logistical hurdles, the Cathedral Parish and the family and friends of the candidates celebrated a joyous liturgy.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge was the ordaining bishop and principal celebrant.
The candidates’ worthiness for ordination was posited by Fr Brian Traynor CP, on behalf of the Passionists, and, in one of his last actions before retirement as Holy Spirit Seminary Rector, by Monsignor John Grace.
As part of the homily, Archbishop Coleridge said each candidate had been called very directly and personally by Jesus, and he urged them never to lose hold of that sense of call.
“They too will have to reproduce the pattern of the Lord’s death, to show forth the Paschal mystery in their life, allowing their weakness to become strength, their defeats to become triumphs,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“For this to happen they too will need to be rescued, again and again, by a power not their own.
“They will have to be rescued from a life half-lived. A life small, safe and comfortable perhaps, but only half-lived.
“There is always a risk that we can say ‘yes’ to the Lord but never really leave home; preferring to stay in our own comfort zone, our own little world, rather than set out boldly on the path the Lord opens before us. The path into the vast world of Easter.
“If these four men, our brothers, allow Jesus Christ to rescue them in this way they will certainly shed blood.
“But at journey’s end, at the end of a wonderfully surprising and fulfilling life as a priest, each of them will say with St Peter: ‘now I know that it’s all true; the Lord really did send His angel to rescue me’, and with St Paul: ‘the Lord has rescued me from the Lion’s mouth, from all evil attempts on me, and has brought me safely to His heavenly kingdom.’”
Fr Francis Fernandes has been appointed to the Cathedral parish. His Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated at 8.00am on Sunday 4 July at in St Catherine’s Church at Moggill.
Fr Jack Ho has been has been appointed to the Burleigh Heads parish. His Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated at 10.00am on Saturday 3 July in St Mary’s Church at Ipswich.
Fr William Aupito Iuliano was serving at Gympie parish before ordination and will retain that appointment. His Mass of Thanksgiving was planned for celebration on Friday 2 July in Our Lady Help of Christians Parish at Narre Warren in Victoria.
Fr Luke Bulley CP was serving at St Paul Apostle in Endeavour Hills, Victoria before ordination and will retain that appointment. His Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated at 4.00pm on Saturday 3 July at St Mary’s Retreat “The Fort” in Oxley.
The complete ordination is viewable on demand
Archbishop Coleridge’s Homily is also available