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New deacons a step closer to priesthood

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There was cause for much celebration as seminarians Anthony Beltrame and Olek Stirrat were ordained to the diaconate by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan on Saturday December 19.

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Describing it not as their “graduation” but an important part in their journey towards the priesthood, Archbishop O’Regan said it was wonderful to see the “faithfulness of God at work”.

Held in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, the invitation-only Mass was attended by family and friends, Bishop Karol from the Port Pirie Diocese, Bishop Greg O’Kelly, members of the Corpus Christi College in Melbourne including vice rector Fr Cameron Forbes, Fr Ed Moloney and Fr Brian Boyle, and many priests and deacons from the Adelaide Archdiocese. Corpus Christi College rector Fr Denis Stanley sent his apology as he was in Melbourne attending other ordinations on the day.

Addressing the congregation after their ordination, Deacon Olek – speaking on behalf of himself and Deacon Anthony – thanked their families who had been “relentlessly supportive of us, not only during our time of formation but throughout our whole lives”.

He also thanked those who attended the Mass by “real or virtual” means from around Australia, Italy, Poland and America.

Deacon Olek extended their gratitude to Archbishop Regan “for ordaining us and being present in our lives as an attentive and generous shepherd”. He acknowledged Archbishop Wilson, who was unable to attend, “for accepting us into the seminary and nurturing our vocation” and Bishop O’Kelly for his “paternal presence” throughout. He also thanked the seminary staff at Corpus Christi.

“Lastly, but certainly not least, we give thanks to God for His faithful presence and to our Blessed Mother for her gentle and patient guidance.”

Deacon Olek then addressed the gathering in Polish, with the congregation erupting in warm applause to welcome the Archdiocese’s newest deacons.

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