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Monday, 14 November 2022 14:55

Carmelites ordained in moving ceremony

Albino Dos Santos was ordained to the priesthood and Marcolino Gomes to the deaconate in a moving ceremony on Saturday 12 November at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Middle Park (VIC).

Albino and Marco, who have been friends since high school, warmly embraced during the ceremony. They also made a moving presentation to Albino’s mother and uncle who were able to be present at the Mass thanks to the generosity of parishioners of St Joseph, Port Melbourne, and Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Middle Park, parish.

Bishop Anthony Ireland was the celebrant and was joined by over 30 Carmelites and visiting priests and a crowd of more than 300 people. Among the Carmelites present were Fr Miċeál O’Neill, the Prior General of the Carmelites, and Fr Bruce Clark, newly-elected Prior Provincial of the Carmelites in Australia and Timor-Leste.

Scroll down to see photos.

Homily of Most Rev Anthony J Ireland,
Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne 12 November 2022

Each year, on this day, 12 November, the East Timorese people remember, with solemnity and sadness, the deaths of hundreds of young people who were killed on this day in 1991 during the Santa Cruz massacre. This day, then, for the East Timorese is a national holiday, a day of national mourning and remembrance and a day that urges the liberation of the people of Timor L’Este.

So, for Albino and Marcolino, together with their blood family members here present and watching in East Timor on this national day, you have another thing to remember this day for as your dear relatives Alby and Marco are ordained to the priesthood and diaconate respectively.

To the Carmelite family, especially Fr Paul Cahill who has relinquished the office of Prior Provincial and through Fr Bruce Clark, thank you for the welcome and formation that you have given Albino and Marcolino into your Carmelite family.

In some ways, the readings chosen for this ordination Mass are not really appropriate. Those of you who have seen Albino in action would testify that he is never short of a word and could never claim, “Ah Lord, I am only a child and I do not know what to say”.

Nor could Albino and Marco be compared to the Zebedee boys whose mother wanted to have the places of honour which prompted Jesus’ words that we heard in this evening’s Gospel.

However, let me suggest to you that Albino and Marco might be more like Philip and Andrew in the Gospel of St John that Marco enjoys so much. Philip and Andrew were the great introducers. Andrew introduces Peter to Jesus and Philip finds Nathaniel and says to him, “We have found the One.”

These two, who are about to be ordained – one a deacon and the other a priest, have been introducing each other for many, many years. They introduced each other at the Salesian school in their homeland, during the agricultural course, and to the Carmelite family.

They have supported each other along the academic road in Timor and here in Australia at the Yarra Theological Union.

Together, they have enjoyed and deepened their love for Carmelite spirituality and the brotherhood amongst the men in brown. Marco spoke with me about the importance of the spiritual foundation upon which fraternal correction must be founded as an act of charity.

Albino speaks of his parent’s support of his vocation and the wonderful welcome that he has received in the Carmelite family after Marco introduced him. He claims that he is at home and happy in the Carmelite family and now after a year as a deacon of the church, he has petitioned to be ordained a priest, and he will exercise the priestly ministry bringing to that ministry the rich flavour of Carmelite spirituality.

Whilst Marco and Albino might not be like the sons of Zebedee, and whilst Albino may not be like Jeremiah at the beginning of his journey, there is something quiet healthy about these two. Even though, their journeys to this day may seem to be in parallel and they have supported each other along the way, they words of today’s second reading do apply to them. Each of them, has his own gifts, his own relationship with the Lord Jesus, and his own personal qualities. One of them is inspired by the view from the foot of the cross when Mary is entrusted into the care of John - each being asked by the Lord to behold the other. The other man takes inspiration from the Samaritan leper who returned to the Lord Jesus to thank him and to praise God for his cure.

Both men who will lie before you today, heed the words of today’s Gospel and take to heart the call to service. Said Deacon Albino, “Serving people is key”.

Over a lot of historical Catholic buildings one can find the letters AMDG or DOM. The latter signifies: to God the greatest but in Cooparoo, Deacon Albino has learnt, that DOM can mean death of meetings which he says are plentiful. His mentor, though, has taught him that meetings are also a means of service and tapping into the graces, and gifts, given to the members of the community.

Dear Alby and Marco your lives will change from today. Marcolino, with today’s ordination to the diaconate, you will minister in new ways and you will take on a more public presence in the life of the church. Albino you will stand at the altar offering the body of the Lord to his people, you will sit in the quiet of the confessional setting bringing healing to wounded souls and you will anoint the sick and bury the dead. You will journey with God’s holy people being a minister of his grace in the various stages of life.

To both of you, I wish you God’s choicest blessings as you set out as deacon and priest. There is no doubt that this will be exciting, and probably busy. So, please continue to deepen your Carmelite spirituality, and within the demands of pastoral and sacrament ministry, regularly be like Elijah and sit in silence waiting for the gentle breeze through which the Lord will speak to and nourish your soul.

Published in News