By Peter Bugden
BISHOP Michael McCarthy, celebrating his first ordination since becoming Bishop of Rockhampton, assured two new deacons the people they served would call out their pastoral gifts.
Bishop McCarthy, whose episcopal ordination was on May 29, ordained Andrew Hogan and Stephen Camiolo to the transitional diaconate at Holy Spirit Chapel, Banyo, on June 19 as they work towards ordination to priesthood.
Bishop Brian Finnigan, Holy Spirit Provincial Seminary rector Monsignor Anthony Randazzo and more than 25 priests were among the concelebrants.
Several priests from Rockhampton diocese, where Deacon Hogan will serve, were among the clergy.
Family and friends attending included the parents of the two deacons Bob and Sharon Hogan, of Rockhampton, and Yvonne and John Camiolo, of Caloundra.
In his homily Bishop McCarthy, a former rector of the Banyo seminary, told the deacons that, as they began their new ministry in the parishes, “God’s people will welcome you and welcome your ministry”.
“And through the exercise of their ministry of love they will in turn discern and call out of you your pastoral gifts,” he said.
“So, in a few months when your rector again stands in the cathedrals of St Joseph and St Stephen respectively and says that upon inquiry of the People of God, the rector will have heard the voices of those who have experienced your ministry and drawn the priestly gifts out of you.
“The Church will admit you then to the orders of presbyters.”
Bishop McCarthy said the diaconate was an ancient order “for the building up of the Church”. He said deacons shared in the bishop’s preaching of the Gospel and they shared insights with the people in daily homilies.
“Preparation (of homilies) I believe begins very early on a Monday morning as you begin your week in the parish, maybe in front of a class joining the parish catechists or on the sacramental team or visiting the house-bound and taking Holy Communion to them,” he said.
Bishop McCarthy said it was “through the sweat and the tears of the people” the deacons encountered, especially through their pastoral work, that their homilies developed.
“There is where the homily has its genesis and, together with meditating on the Scriptures, that God’s Word comes alive for you and your people,” he said.
“God’s people want to hear how the Holy Spirit works in your life, how you pray, how you encounter difficulties, how you deal with adversity – the real-life experiences that, together, you walk with your people as their pastor.”
Deacon Hogan, who served with NET (National Evangelisation Teams) Ministries in Adelaide, is a former school teacher in Rockhampton diocese. He said the ordination “was an incredible experience”.
“It was great,” he said. “It is hard to describe because it was the culmination of such a long time of preparation.”
Deacon Hogan has been appointed to Bundaberg parish.
“I’m looking forward to getting involved in the parish and working with the people, whatever that might be,” he said.
“Parish life has many twists and turns. You just can’t predict it, but that’s one of the beauties of the ministry.”
Deacon Camiolo, a former restaurant and takeaway business owner and then disability support worker with Mercy Disability Services, said he was also looking forward to “serving God’s people and being part of the parish team”.
“(Ordination) was a wonderful day but really, for me, it was a day to glory and praise the Lord for what He has done,” he said.
“It’s not about me; it’s about God. For me, it’s to God’s honour and glory that we have the chance to serve Him.”
Deacon Camiolo will return to the seminary to continue studies and will have a weekend placement at a parish yet to be decided.
Read Bishop Michael McCarthy’s homily from the ordination here.