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Everywhere is mission territory

New priest: Dominican Father Karl Emerick (centre) after his ordination is with the Dominicans’ Australian prior provincial Fr Keven Saunders and Archbishop Mark Coleridge.

New priest: Dominican Father Karl Emerick (centre) after his ordination is with the Dominicans’ Australian prior provincial Fr Keven Saunders and Archbishop Mark Coleridge.

 

ARCHBISHOP Mark Coleridge ordained Fr Karl Emerick for the Dominicans, letting him know he was called to be a missionary priest.

Archbishop Coleridge presided at the ordination in St Stephen’s Cathedral on July 4, the feast of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.

It was a solemn and joyous occasion, with Fr Emerick surrounded by his extended family, fellow Dominicans, priests from the Brisbane and Rockhampton dioceses, and friends.

Born in Brisbane and hailing from Bundaberg, in Rockhampton diocese, Fr Emerick has seven siblings and 17 nieces and nephews who were there to support him and celebrate with him, along with cousins, second cousins and a Christian Brother who had taught him.

His mother Marian was first in line for a personal blessing from her newly ordained son at the end of Mass.

The Dominicans’ Australian prior provincial Fr Kevin Saunders was among concelebrants.

Archbishop Coleridge, in his homily, told the congregation Fr Emerick was ordained “to be a missionary priest”.

“We used to think that missionary priests were those who left home and went to work in distant and difficult lands where Christianity was new or even unknown,” he said.

“For you, Karl, the priesthood may mean that you never leave these shores.

“But you are no less a missionary for that.

“There’s only one kind of priest or bishop these days – and that’s the missionary kind.

“There’s no such thing as non-missionary territory.

“Everywhere now is mission territory and this land is absolutely no exception.”

Reflecting on the ordination, Fr Emerick said he remembered the Archbishop putting oil on his hands, “and thinking that through his hands, and through me, God works”.

“Saying the words of institution (consecration), I was saying the words that Christ said. It was very profound,” Fr Emerick said.

“To me, I was just saying words – it’s nothing of what I’m doing. I just do what the Church asks me in ordination, and God works through me.

“I am a conduit for God working through me.”

The Dominicans have assigned Fr Emerick to their Blackfriars Priory School in Prospect, Adelaide, where he has been a chaplain to the school.

“I will also be in the North Adelaide-Prospect parish (St Laurence’s Priory),” he said.

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