Thirteen new servants of God
AUSTRALIA'S leader of the Anglican Catholic community arrives on the Gold Coast this weekend to conduct an ordination of 13 ministers.
Bishop Brian Iverach and special guests Archbishop John Augustin, chief bishop of the church's Indian province, will take part in the ordination of the 13 men in St James Church at Mermaid Beach on Saturday at 1pm.
Father Reg Mills, from StJames, said the ordination was “unusual” in many ways.
“This is quite a large ordination,” Fr Mills said.
“Usually we would have about four or five in the ordination,” he said.
“This also a fairly young group. I think the youngest is 26 and you have to be at least 23 to be ordained.
“There is a tendency in people nowadays to be resistant to commitments, whether that's in a job or marriage.
“But these men have made a commitment to the church for the rest of their lives and beyond.”
Fr Mills said the ordination was important for the church and the future of the faith locally.
“All of these men will be serving in the clergy in NSW and Queensland,” he said.
“One will stay to work with the parish here at Mermaid Beach. The ordination is important because our church is growing and some of these new deacons will be working to establish new parishes in other areas.”
The Anglican Catholic church has parishes in Tweed Heads and Mermaid Beach.
“They will become clergymen and are part of the ministry with the title of reverend,” he said.
The ordination is just the first step for many of these men. Some will remain deacons, but most will continue studying to later become priests.
“You never know, but one of these young men might go on to become bishop,” Fr Mills said.
“It's a long process involving three elements of study, prayer and meditation,” he said.
“It's a lengthy process usually over several years and involves a growth in spiritual thoughts.”
Most of the ordinands are men in there 20s and 30s, although one is in his 50s and another in his 70s.
Bishop Iverach said the latest group to be ordained will reduce the average age of the Anglican Catholic clergy.
None of the ordinands were available for comment yesterday as they were away on a retreat in preparation for the ceremony.