By Emilie Ng
BRISBANE’S newest priest Fr Stephen Camiolo has only God to thank for leading him towards his ordination at St Stephen’s Cathedral on Monday, December 8.
Fr Camiolo, originally from Wooloowin, said his ordination was “above all … in thanks to God who got me here”.
“After all the years of study, it’s finally come to fruition, and there’s only one person to thank and that’s God,” he said.
“It’s a nice feeling to know I’m at the end of one journey but at the beginning of a new one.”
Hours after his ordination on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Fr Camiolo said he was still learning to see himself as a priest.
“I was driving Fr Andrew Hogan off at the airport and I suddenly realised, ‘I’m a priest now’,” he said.
After ignoring “several calls over the years” Fr Camiolo entered the seminary in 2009 after an obvious push from God towards to the priesthood.
“Everything that happened to me made it clear that God was not letting me go anywhere else,” he said.
Ahead of his ordination, Fr Camiolo said he was “feeling honoured and privileged” to walk into the next phase of his vocation.
“I just know that God’s with me on this journey,” he said.
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge presided at the ordination Mass, concelebrated by priests who have journeyed with Fr Camiolo during his seminarian years, including Sunnybank parish priest Fr Dan Ryan, Fr John Sullivan and Burleigh Heads parish priest Fr Ken Howell.
Family and friends witnessed Fr Camiolo’s ordination, many travelling from Childers, Sydney and Melbourne.
Fr Camiolo celebrated his first Mass on Wednesday, December 10, at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Sunnybank, where he spent his diaconate placement.
Before his first Mass, Fr Camiolo said he was feeling “a little nervous”.
“It’s the first time you have to stand up and preside at the Mass, but you’ve just got to grab the bull by the horns, so to speak, and know you’ve got God with you,” he said.
He will celebrate Christmas Masses in Caloundra and Sunnybank before moving to Burleigh Heads in January as associate pastor for the next three years.
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Photos: Alan Edgecomb