TOWNSVILLE Deacon Emene Kelemete will be ordained at Ignatius Park College on October 31.
In the lead-up to the ordination, Deacon Kelemete said his family life played a significant role in his path to priesthood.
His family was something that encouraged him “to recognise the love of Christ in my life”, he said in a video on Townsville diocese’s Facebook page.
“Growing up with Mum and Dad and my siblings – there’s seven of us – also my dad didn’t think that was enough so they adopted another three,” he said.
“Growing up in the family and being the eldest of the family, it really taught me what it meant to be a part of a family.
“And when I look at the teachings of Christ, often we hear the words – one family … and through the family and learning from Mum and Dad what it meant to actually love the other person.
“Being the eldest, having the responsibilities of looking after my younger brothers and sisters – becoming a second mother and father – that taught me a lot about serving my brothers and sisters.”
Deacon Kelemetee said he wanted to show this and share what he had and what had been given to him through his family.
Going south to Brisbane to meet others on Quo Vadis was an eye-opening experience.
“Straight away I’ve thought, you know, ‘Gee, I’m not the only one and these younger fellows are younger than me’,” he said.
“The youngest fellow there was 13 at the time, Nathan Webb, who’s also still in the seminary.
“(He’s a) great fella, awesome bloke, comes from a beautiful family – meeting him and meeting the rest of the brothers, you know, it inspired me to realise: ‘Gee, this is it, it’s life-changing; people are hearing the call and not afraid to actually go into it’.”
Often, Deacon Kelemete was asked the question – are you ready to take on the priesthood?
“Quite often I said to them, what does it actually mean?” he said.
“How much can you be ready?
“I realise that, you know, I can be as ready as I can and that’s what I’m coming as, so I’m going to come as myself and then do the best I can to serve the people of God.”
Service will be the focal point of his ministry, he said.
“I’ll try my best to actually do what I can and serve the people of God,” he said.
He said the support he had received from family and local parishioners had been “overwhelming”.
“(It has) given me the strength to actually see the core of all this is the bigger picture, which is the Church,” he said.
“That for me, it gives me the strength to be able to recognise that at the end of the day I’m going to be ordained as a priest for the Church, and that’s something that I’m ready for.
“I feel like I’m inspired to be a servant of God for the Church.”
Deacon Kelemete’s ordination will be live streamed on YouTube from 7pm tonight (October 31).