by Anthony Beltrame
On the brisk morning of 12 September the Melbourne Archdiocese ordained six of its young men to the Priesthood. For Patrick Bradford, Justel Callos, George Feliciouz, Daryl Montecillo, Joel Peart and Dong Tran this was the culmination of a seven-year journey through the seminary which had seen many ups and downs. Newly ordained Rev. Fr. Justel Callos however was quick to point out that "ordination was not an achievement or graduation, but rather a pure gift from God that could never be earned or deserved". The faithful gathered from near and far, with many people from interstate and overseas filling the Cathedral. For all gathered, this was an incredibly beautiful, joyful and emotional occasion. In his homily Archbishop Denis Hart stressed that these men had been called to a life of love, sacrifice and service. With the laying-on of hands and words of ordination spoken by Archbishop Hart, Melbourne received six new shepherds, called by God for the duty of leading the faithful to the Father's kingdom. Many of those gathered were visibly moved as they lined up to receive their first blessing from the newly ordained, with one member of the congregation urging Rev. Fr. Daryl Montecillo "never to forget that his hands were the hands of Christ in the world".
This incredible gift to the Priesthood highlights the exciting regeneration the Church is experiencing here in Australia. Just over a decade ago there were only 28 seminarians at Corpus Christi College, but in 2015 the seminary is now bursting with nearly 60 young men, including those recently ordained. This marks a bright future for the Church in a world where hope is fading. The example of these newly ordained men shows the work of God in our world.