Happiness all around at Joondanna Servite ordination as a Perth man offers up his life to be a ‘true shepherd’ of God’s people.
By Robert Hiini
After a long journey of discernment, Peter Porteous was ordained priest for the Order of Friar Servants of Mary or Servites on Friday, January 9 at the Parish of St Denis in Joondana.
Several hundred of Fra Peter’s family members, friends and fellow Servites – priests and religious – turned out in force to pray for and celebrate with their companion.
In a moving ceremony, Fra Peter was presented as a candidate by the provincial head of Servites in Australia, Fra Liam Mackle OSM, before being examined and accepted by Bishop Don Sproxton with the consent of the congregation.
In an emotional moment, the candidate’s parents, Jim and Maxine Porteous presented him with a stole and chasuble, signs of the priestly office and ministry, before embracing their newly ordained son.
In his homily, Bishop Sroxton recounted Fra Peter’s journey to date, having met him when he was first discerning his call over three decades ago at St Charles Seminary as well as his later involvement in the Holy Spirit of Freedom Community. Presiding over his first ordination, Bishop Sproxton spoke of the ‘true shepherd’ as one who is called to look after His sheep and to bring the Good News of salvation to “those who are really living their lives burdened.”
While the call to ordained ministry may be daunting, he said, grace for the role will be given in abundance. “Peter looks forward into the unknown, we don’t know what tomorrow holds. A call is given by God but with that call a promise is made that He will provide what we need as we step into the future. When we say yes we are uncertain and we don’t know what the implications of that call will be but as the Lord reassured Jeremiah, ‘don’t be afraid, I will be with you. I know what sort of choices you will have to make and I will help you make those choices with wisdom’.”