Ordinations to the Priesthood


28 August 2021

Presented By

Archbishop Peter A Comensoli

On Saturday 11 September, five deacons will be ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. These include Rev. Alexander Chow, Rev. Hoang Dinh, Rev. Jaycee Napoles, Rev. Joseph Nguyen and Rev. Samuel Pearson. In this short video, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli shares what a great joy it will be for our local Church of Melbourne to welcome the five new priests this September (God-willing!), and asks us to pray for and encourage all young people in their vocations to the priesthood, marriage and family life, the diaconate and religious life. 🙏


Friends over this past week, those seminarians who are preparing for ordination to the priesthood have been doing the pre-ordination retreat, a time of prayer and quiet in preparation for their ordination. I make mention of this because it's normally around this time, or at least in the early part of September, that we would have ordinations for the priesthood and for the diaconate happening here in our Archdiocese. At the moment – this precise moment – we’re not sure about this, in that we just don't know how long the current lockdown will go and if the lockdown continues for the next couple of weeks or so then we’ll have to postpone the dates for the ordinations and have them in different ways. Already, what was going to be one large celebration this year of both priests and deacons – already we decided to just have the priests by themselves and the deacons again to be ordained in local parishes by the Auxiliary Bishops when an opportunity arises.

Can I ask for your prayer for them?

For many of you watching this, you were probably married at some stage in your lives, and you know that sense of expectation and hope and joy and so on – and the nervousness! – of preparing for your wedding day. There’s elements of that also for the fellows who are preparing for their ordination as priests and as deacons in our Church. And though there are some significant and fundamental differences – priests and deacons are ordained to serve in the life of the Church. It's an office they take up for the sake of all of us; marriage you’re choosing one another and in that choice you are, in a sense, offering yourselves to each other in a service of love.

But I want to make a little point here of connection. We all know that marriage can be challenging. You know that much more than I would. You know it has its ups and downs. You know that not every marriage makes it, sadly. But that doesn't stop us from wanting couples to be married. We see it as such a great thing. In fact, in our faith we see it as a sacrament – that two people might give themselves so fully to one another. They are a form of reconciling within the life of the Church and for our society. It's a good thing. So I always say, the more marriages, the better. We don't sort of want to put a limit on the number of marriages. We encourage that.

In a funny sort of way, there’s grown in the life of our Church, in perhaps recent decades, a kind of a way of thinking about priesthood as, you know, “let’s have enough priests; we need sufficient priests”. But I want to say like marriage, the more the merrier! The more priests there are, the greater the gift, the sign and the witness of priesthood; the sign and witness of the diaconate. These are great things. So it's not something that we should be thinking about as somehow putting a limit on it like, “We'll just have sufficient … and get on with it.” No, the priesthood is a great gift in the life of our faith that Jesus gave to us. The diaconate is a great gift in the life of faith that Jesus given us. Marriage is a great gift – and family life is a great gift – that Jesus has given to us. In all of them, may we look to see how we can promote these wonderful sacraments of service to the life of the Church in different ways.

And I just want to, in acknowledging those men who are going to be soon ordained priests now in our Archdiocese and deacons in our Archdiocese, that you might keep them in your prayer. And that you might be able to do what you can to encourage young people in their choices of vocations, to marriage and family life, but some to priesthood and the diaconate life, and some to religious life, and consecrated life. You can do your bit – we’re doing our bit in the Archdiocese – and together might this be a flourishing time for these beautiful vocations.

—Archbishop Peter A Comensoli