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Mother and son reunited on the eve of ordination

KOLORINA Martin’s name has become familiar not only to Catholics but to the wider community through stories in the national media.

The South Sudanese woman, Fr Ladu Yanga’s mother, was fighting a seemingly hopeless battle to convince Australian Immigration authorities that she had the right to attend her son’s ordination in St Stephen’s Cath-edral on June 29.

Yet with the aid of her son and his fellow seminarians at Banyo’s Holy Spirit Provincial Seminary and others including immigration lawyer Peter Lee, a miracle was delivered.

And so it was on Saturday, June 29, Archbishop Mark Coleridge was able to welcome Mrs Martin to her son’s ordination along with Justina Orjiwulu, Fr Stanley Okechukwu Orji’s mother who had arrived in Brisbane several days earlier.

On June 27, then-Deacon Yanga had told The Catholic Leader of his joy at seeing his mother for the first time since 2008 when he left Sudan to return to Australia.

It was the first time the mother of nine who does not speak English had flown and her son had been concerned for her well-being.

He had just returned from Brisbane Airport with her and his two brothers Peter and Wani Joseph.

“They were very emotional too,” he said.

“They hadn’t seen Mum since 2006 (this was when he had sponsored them and another brother Ananias to migrate to Australia).”

Fr Yanga said a large gathering of family members, including his brothers’ nine children, were at his brother Wani Joseph’s house at Wat-erford to greet his mother.

Difficulties with getting his mother to Australia in time for the ordination had started when Immigration authorities rejected the application on the grounds that Fr Yanga could not prove Mrs Martin was in fact his mother.

She was to come on a “Visitor visa – Sponsored Family stream”.

The attempt failed when he could not prove Mrs Martin, who now lives in the newly-independent nation South Sudan, was his mother.

Fr Yanga had lost his birth certificate years earlier when fleeing the bitter civil war in his homeland.

A breakthrough came when seminary vice-rector Fr Frank Devoy, along with Mr Lee’s office, then instigated a new attempt to get the Sudanese-born deacon’s mother here on a “Visitor visa – Tourist stream” earlier this month.

At the time, both Fr Devoy and then-Deacon Yanga agreed it would take some sort of a miracle to shortcut government red tape on what was a lengthy approval process.

Adding to Fr Yanga’s jubilation last week was the news his mother had been given a visa to allow her to stay in Australia for three months.


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