The Ordination of a priest and a deacon in the same ceremony is a rare event, but that’s what took place on Saturday 17 April at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt Carmel in Middle Park. Br Matthew Tonini was ordained to the priesthood and Br Agedo Bento was ordained deacon by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli. It has been 16 years since the last Carmelite was ordained to the priesthood in Australia.

Seventeen priests concelebrated the Ordination Mass, and Fr Matthew celebrated his Mass of Thanksgiving the next day in the same church. He joined the Carmelites in 2012 after completing science studies at university and teaching in rural New South Wales where he was also actively involved in the local faith community.

After doing his novitiate in the USA Matthew returned to Australia to complete his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Theology. He made his Solemn Profession as a Carmelite on 16 July last year and was ordained Deacon on 26 September at Coorparoo by Archbishop Mark Coleridge. Matthew is currently a member of the Carmelite Community at Coorparoo (QLD) where he has been ministering as a Deacon.

Matthew says he is ‘passionate about living and sharing the riches of Carmelite spirituality’. He will return to Coorparoo as Assistant Priest in the parish.

Agedo comes from the village of Uma-Tolu, Laekita, in Viqueque district, Timor-Leste. He joined the Carmelites in 2007 after completing his secondary education and working to support himself. After his novitiate in Timor-Leste and studying at the seminary in Dili, Agedo came to Australia in 2013 to complete his studies at the University of Divinity. He made his Solemn Profession as a Carmelite in 2016 and graduated from the University of Divinity with degrees in Theology and Ministry.

Since 2019, Agedo has been pursuing a Master of Teaching degree at Australian Catholic University.

‘I feel very enthusiastic on my journey in Carmel,’ he said. ‘I thank all those people to have helped and continue to help and support me on my journey,’