Stephen Hill, a former Traditional Anglican Priest, was ordained to the Catholic priesthood at St Joseph’s Subiaco on March 1.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB of Perth ordained Rev. Hill for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, at the request of Ordinariate head, Fr Harry Entwistle.
Formed last year, the Ordinariate is one of three throughout the world allowing former Anglicans a means by which they can enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while retaining their Anglican patrimony.
Archbishop Costelloe welcomed Ordinariate members as “brothers and sisters in one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic faith”.
The night, he said was a celebration, not only of Fr Hill’s ordination, but of the unity that subsisted across the entire congregation.
The night was a testimony to the foresight of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who approved of the ordinariates’ establishment.
Fr Hill’s parents travelled from Queensland for the occasion, joining parishioners from the Ordinariate parish of St Ninian and St Chad, other Catholics from the surrounding area, and seminarians from Perth’s archdiocesan seminary, St Charles’, in Guildford.
Speaking at the end of the ceremony, the leader of the Ordinariate, Fr Harry Enwistle reminded Fr Hill and the congregation of two British saints whose feast days occurred around that time.
While St David was known for having argued against heresies and the imposition of the Latin rite on Celtic Christians, St Chad was known to have agreed to a second consecration as bishop after concerns about the validity of his first.
“Today, we celebrate the ordination of another Catholic priest and for that we thank God because Church unity for those who hold, believe and teach the Catholic Faith has moved a step forward,” Fr Enwistle said.
“For us in the Ordinariate, it is vital that there can be no doubt whatsoever about our ordination as Catholic priests because we can never have any doubt about the validity of the Sacraments we administer … It is important that Catholic clergy and laity understand that we in the Ordinariate share the same priesthood; the same sacraments; and are engaged in the same mission as every other Catholic throughout the world.
“We may have our own diocese with our own leader, and we are permitted to use our own form of worship based on our Anglican heritage, but we are true members of the Holy Catholic Church, in communion with the See of Peter.
“As Archbishop Timothy said in his address we owe that to the courage and the vision and the willingness to take a risk of Benedict XVI.”
Both men thanked Fr Joe Walsh and St Joseph’s parish for their outstanding hospitality.