Media and Communications Offfice (Photos: Casamento)
St Patrick’s Cathedral today witnessed Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, ordain two men to priesthood, Reverend Anil Mascarenhas and Reverend Toan Nguyen.
Archbishop Hart, the Principal Celebrant and Ordaining Prelate, was assisted by his concelebrants; Bishops Hilton Deakin, Terry Curtin, Peter Elliot and Mark Edwards. Additionally, the bishops were joined by the Rector of Corpus Christi Seminary, Fr Denis Stanley, and the Master of Catholic Theological College, Dr Shane MacKinlay.
The many priests of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, visiting priests and staff members of Corpus Christi College were also in attendance as concelebrants.
The St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir, directed by Dr Daryl Barclay, filled the cathedral with stirring, solemn music and were ably accompanied by organist, Dion Henman.
In his homily, Archbishop Hart said that both men were gifted and will be valued priests.
ordinands are gifted young men who will serve the Church with generosity and be
the bearers of God’s love to people. We
pray for them and ask the Lord, the giver of all good gifts, to bring down upon
them the love and power of the Holy Spirit in this Sacrament of Orders,' he said.
During the Ordination Mass, Sister Hoa Thi Trinh spoke in Vietnamese, reading from Jeremiah 1: 4-9. She was followed by Mr Peter Moore, who read from the second letter of St Paul to the Ephesians.
The mothers of the two priests, Mrs Stella Mascarenhas and Mrs Catherine Buom Nguyen, brought forward the offertory gifts.
As his ordination drew closer, Fr Mascarenhas wrote in melbournepriest.com
that he had been inspired by Catholic priests in Karnataka, India and that a Jesuit mission camp had made a significant impression on him.
‘My desire to pursue a vocation to the priesthood has been from my early childhood, influenced by the many priests and religious in my extended family. They have set excellent examples by their committed lives and their selfless service.'
‘During my university days I had an opportunity to spend time in a Jesuit mission camp, which made me think more seriously about my future, and witnessing the Jesuit father’s missionary work was amazing. During this period, I seriously reflected on God’s many blessings throughout my life and how the Spirit worked through others to bring me to this point,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Fr Nguyen said his time at the Corpus Christi Seminary had challenged him to learn English and given him a rewarding experience.
‘At the end of 2008 the Archbishop of Hanoi Diocese asked me to go to Australia to join the seminary.'
‘It was a difficult time for me since I couldn’t understand much because of the language barrier and the new culture as well. However, I took it as my own cross and transformed these challenges into opportunities,’ said Fr Nguyen.
Fr Mascarenhas addressed the congregation before the culmination of the Ordination Mass and thanked the families of both the newly ordained priests and everyone who had attended, remarking it was a proud and humbling day for himself and Fr Nguyen.