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First Queenslander ordained for the Pauline Fathers ‘as cool as a cucumber’

Fr Joseph Maria Buckley and Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green

Pauline joy: Newly ordained Pauline Father Joseph Maria Buckley (left) is with the man who ordained him at Marian Valley last weekend, Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green, himself a Pauline Father. Photo: Robin Williams

PAULINE Fathers from around the world have welcomed the first Queensland-born priest into the monastic order.

Fr Joseph Maria Buckley, originally from Brisbane, was ordained a priest of the Order of St Paul the First Hermit, better known as the Pauline Fathers, on June 9.

He is the first Queenslander to be ordained for the order, which was founded in the 13th century in Hungary.

He is also the first priest to be ordained by former Pauline Father, Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green, who travelled from his home in Wilcannia-Forbes diocese in western NSW for the ordination.

Fr Buckley said after his ordination Mass he was “truly blown away” by the support and prayers of the Pauline Fathers and wider Catholic community.

“And I will always remember you in my prayers,” he said.

‘As cool as a cucumber’

Fr Buckley blesses Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green

First blessing: Newly ordained Pauline Father Joseph Maria Buckley gives his first blessing to the one who ordained him, Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green, himself a Pauline Father. Photo: Robin Williams.

Queensland’s first monk for the Pauline Fathers seemed “as cool as a cucumber” to his brother priest Wilcannia-Forbes Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green, who was the exact opposite at his ordination 20 years ago.

In his homily for Fr Joseph Maria Buckley’s ordination on June 9, Bishop Macbeth-Green recalled his own emotions during his priestly ordination in 1997.

“Before and in the middle of the ceremony, I was a mess, I was that nervous,” he said.

“I was also sick in the stomach.

“And here’s Br Joseph, as cool as a cucumber.

“I said, ‘What a solid man this is’… but who knows what is going on inside there.

“I don’t think a young man, a deacon, preparing for ordination as a priest, should not have those knots in his stomach … because it’s such an awesome thing.

Fr Buckley holds the Eucharist

Sacred moment: Pauline Father Joseph Maria Buckley during the Eucharistic Prayer at his ordination last weekend. Photo: Robin Williams.

“We are to be Christs in the world, in a most particular way.”

Fr Buckley’s journey to be Christ in the world through the priesthood started 20 years ago, when he was eight years old.

“But that was only like part of the message at that time,” Fr Buckley said.

“When I was a teenager, I said, ‘God, you’ve called me to the priesthood but I don’t know where you want me to go?’”

The answer was at Marian Valley, a shrine dedicated to Our Lady Help of Christians cared for by the Pauline Fathers, including Bishop Macbeth-Green, who was just a priest at the time.

“At the end of my school years, when I was about seventeen, soon to turn eighteen, I went to Fr Columba and went for an interview about joining the order,” Fr Buckley said.

“He thought at seventeen turning eighteen I was a bit young, and suggested I go away and do something.

“I studied for a bit, then joined at twenty-one.

“It’s been straight-forward from there.”

Bishop to priests: Guard against gnosticism and pelagianism

During Fr Buckley’s ordination, which was held at Marian Valley, Bishop Macbeth-Green offered more sage advice, this time on what it took to be a good priest.

The Bishop warned the new priest against two old heresies mentioned in Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exultate – gnosticism and pelagianism – because they were boundaries to holiness and particularly troublesome for priests.

“They inhibit holiness and both of them are things that a priest must be very careful of,” Bishop Macbeth-Green said.

Priests after Fr Joseph Buckley's ordination

Day of celebration: Father Joseph Maria Buckley and Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green with concelebrants and servers at Fr Buckley’s ordination as a Pauline Father. Photo: Robin Williams.

Read the full story and see more photos of Fr Joseph Maria Buckley’s ordination by purchasing a copy of the June 17 edition of The Catholic Leader. 

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