Friday, November 30, 2018

Thirty-nine years ago today . . .

On this day (St Andrew’s Day) 1979 in Ballarat Cathedral (39 years ago!), I was made a deacon in the Church of God by the Rt Rev’d John Hazlewood who by then had been Bishop of Ballarat a little over four years. This morning I offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in thanksgiving to the Lord for his love, his faithfulness, his forgiveness, and his blessing during the good times as well as during the hard times since then. I thanked him for my family, for the parishes and people I have tried to serve, and for so many wonderful colleagues who have helped to sustain me down through the years.  

The photo above is of Bishop John giving me a New Testament (the one I still use when visiting the sick and housebound). Beneath his signature facing the title page he wrote “2 Cor. 1:7”, a verse of S. Paul that - 39 years later - I still regard as a little gift from Bishop John (may he rest in peace): 

‘Our hope for you is unshaken; 
for we know that as you share in our sufferings, 
you will also share in our comfort.’ 

Below, I have included the Ballarat Courier article covering the ordination. You’ll need to click on it if you want to read the article and make out the faces in the photograph. On the far right is Archdeacon Graham Walden (later to become Assistant Bishop of the Diocese, and then Bishop of The Murray) who presented the candidates for ordination. Bishop John Hazlewood is in the centre. Between him and me is Father Austin Day, Rector of Christ Church St Laurence, Sydney, who conducted the retreat and preached the ordination sermon. 


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