By Emilie Ng
NINE months is needed to form a new human being in the womb, but it’s also the timeframe for Fr Chima Ofor’s “birth” as Petrie’s newest parish priest.
After nine months as Petrie parish’s associate pastor, Fr Ofor is now the community’s parish priest, taking over from his predecessor Fr Dave O’Connor, who resigned last year.
Fr Ofor said his installation at Petrie parish on February 28 made him feel like he “was being ordained again”.
Not expecting his new role, the Nigerian-born priest looked to Biblical heroes David and Jeremiah for comfort.
“When I arrived in Petrie as associate pastor, I least expected that I would be parish priest after nine months,” Fr Ofor said.
“But often times, God calls us to various missions when we least expected them; the scriptures is replete with instances of these.
“As one of the youngest parish priests in the diocese, it was fitting for me to reflect on the call of David and Jeremiah, who answered God’s call at a young age when they least expected it.”
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge installed Fr Ofor last month, and said after nine months “a new pastor was born to Petrie parish”.
He also reminded Fr Ofor that his name Chima, meaning, God knows my needs, served as a powerful reminder of his priestly call.
“During this installation, the archbishop noted that as a pastor, I have been called to also listen to the needs of the parish in order to help them fulfill their mission,” Fr Ofor said.
Former parish priest Fr Dave O’Connor and Fr Peter McCartin attended the installation Mass, along with 12 Brisbane archdiocese priests.
The community continued their celebrations at the connecting school hall.
“Petrie Parish really knows how to celebrate well,” Fr Ofor said.
“I greatly express my gratitude to all the priests in attendance, guests and parishioners, especially the Social Group, who organised this part of the occasion.
“The success of the installation is a great source of encouragement to me.”