by Jackson Saunders
The Sandhurst Diocese has welcomed its newest priest, Fr Stephen Bolling.
Fr Stephen, 28, was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop of Sandhurst, Leslie Tomlinson, at Bendigo’s Sacred Heart Cathedral on Saturday, September 19.
The occasion was celebrated with priests from across the Sandhurst Diocese and beyond, the Corpus Christi College seminary community, Fr Stephen’s family and friends, as well as hundreds of lay faithful.
Bishop Tomlinson in his homily reminded Fr Stephen that priesthood is a gift freely given and received.
“It is God’s grace which has enabled him to hear the Lord speaking to him, it is God’s grace which has given him the strength to respond, and it is God’s grace, and only God’s grace, which will carry him into the future and make of him the priest that the Lord and his Church need him to be,” Bishop Tomlinson said.
“You must put your whole life at the service of the Church and make the unveiling of the face of the Christ the driving force of everything you do. He must be the treasure which you hold close to your heart, contemplate often and deeply, come to appreciate each day more fully, and share generously, without counting the cost, with all those people to whom the Lord will send you.”
Fr Stephen offered first blessings after the ordination, before celebrations continued at Catholic Education Sandhurst’s De Campo Hall where many gathered to express their support and congratulations for the newly ordained.
The day after the ordination on Sunday, September 20, Fr Stephen celebrated his first Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral at the 11am Mass.
Later this month, Fr Stephen, will be joined by Deacons, Junray Ranya and Novelito Lim, as the newest priests of the Sandhurst Diocese.
Deacons Junray and Novelito will be ordained in their home Diocese of Cebu in the Philippines on October 23, before returning to work in the Sandhurst Diocese.