Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe has last weekend told five new Salesians priests that they will be called to renew and deepen even more than before the total gift of themselves to God which they made at their first profession.
Speaking at St Francis Catholic Church, Melbourne, Archbishop Costelloe, himself a Salesian, ordained Fathers Jeff Miller SDB, Kevin Fiame SDB, Eteuati Milo SDB, Peter Tran Ngoc Duc SDB and Joseph Huong SDB, Saturday, 28 January 2023.
The newly ordained Salesians of Don Bosco priests – Jeff Miller SDB, Kevin Fiame SDB, Eteuati Milo SDB, Peter Tran Ngoc Duc SDB and Joseph Huong SDB with Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Tony Ireland, Salesian Provincial Fr William Matthews and fellow clergy of the Salesian Provincial Council. Photo: Supplied/Salesians of Don Bosco.
The Lord, said Archbishop Costelloe, is asking the men to let go of everything holding them back from giving themselves fully and finally to God; to surrender themselves to God and allow God to remake them, to reshape them, into something, or rather someone, new.
“God’s grace is at work within them, moulding them into living images of Jesus the Good Shepherd,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“How else would they be able to do what Jesus calls his ministers to do: to feed his lambs and his sheep?
“This is what shepherds do – this is what Jesus does - and today, Joseph, Jeff, Kevin, Peter and Eteuati, he is telling you that from now on, in a new and powerful way, he intends to do all this through you,” he said.
Salesian Brothers Jeff Miller SDB, Kevin Fiame SDB, Eteuati Milo SDB, Peter Tran Ngoc Duc SDB and Joseph Huong SDB, lay prostrate during their Ordination to the Priesthood Saturday, 28 January 2023 at St Francis Church, Melbourne. Photo: Supplied/Salesians of Don Bosco.
Concelebrating with Archbishop Costelloe was Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Tony Ireland,
Salesians of Don Bosco Provincial, Fr William Matthews SDB, Salesian Provincial Council members, Fr Peter Hoang SDB, Fr Peter Carroll SDB, Fr Mosese Tui SDB, Fr Brian Ahern SDB, Fr Anthony Dung SDB, Fr Joseph Lee SDB, Salesians of Don Bosco Vice-Provincial from Vietnam, Fr Kim Khanh SDB and a further 50 priests from across the Archdiocese of Melbourne.
The ordination, which was livestreamed via YouTube, was attended by more than 800 people.
Speaking to The Record following his ordination, Fr Jeff Miller explained he first began considering the priesthood at the age of six when his grandmother assured him that all priests automatically go to heaven when they die.
Salesian Brothers Jeff Miller SDB, Kevin Fiame SDB, Eteuati Milo SDB, Peter Tran Ngoc Duc SDB and Joseph Huong SDB, kneel on the sanctuary during their Ordination to the Priesthood, Saturday 28 January at St Francis Church, Melbourne. Photo: Supplied/Salesians of Don Bosco.
“As a teen, I was deeply moved by Jesus' invitation to the rich young man to sell everything and follow him, and yearned for a missionary life,” Fr Jeff said.
“Having spent my early 20s ruling out every other possible avenue for happiness, I was assured that my life would only find fulfillment as a missionary priest; realising that God has raised me amidst the Salesians, a missionary order of priests, all throughout my life, it only made sense to pursue the priesthood as a Salesian, and Jesus and Mary have graciously led me by the hand every step since,” he said.
Also speaking to The Record, Fr Peter Tran Duc said that growing up in a devoted Catholic family, his faith has been formed on the lap of his grandparents who taught him how to pray.
“My grandma took me to daily Mass and her conversations with her friend on the way have become the very first Catechism lessons that I still remember now,” Fr Peter said.
“On special occasions in my family, all my relatives gathered together to pray and celebrate, especially on the death anniversaries of my ancestors.
These events have deepened my faith. My visits to my grandparents were always good times for them to talk about faith and how to spread God’s love to the neighbors. When the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement was established in my parish, the assistant priest has chosen me to be formed for leadership and since then, I have found my vocation as a formator of faith for the younger ones,” he said.
Salesians of Don Bosco Provincial Fr William Matthews SDB at the Ordination to the Priesthood of Salesian Brothers Jeff Miller SDB, Kevin Fiame SDB, Eteuati Milo SDB, Peter Tran Ngoc Duc SDB and Joseph Huong SDB, Saturday 28 January at St Francis Church Melbourne. Photo: Supplied/Salesians of Don Bosco.
Archbishop Costelloe encouraged the congregation to pray in gratitude that each of these young men have found the courage to listen deeply to the voice of the Lord working in their lives and to respond generously to that voice.
“This courage and faith led them into the Salesian novitiate, strengthened them to dedicate their lives to God and to his people, especially the young, through their religious profession, and sustained them through the challenges and difficulties which are a part of every person’s life, and therefore of the life of every religious,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“And now, this same faith and courage have guided them to this moment in which, through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, they will be moulded into living images of Christ among his people, and especially among the young, as their Good Shepherd,” he said.
The five new priests have now been assigned to parishes across Australia and the Pacific, including Fr Jeff and Fr Joseph to the Salesian Community in St Marys, Sydney, Fr Kevin as Assistant priest at St John Bosco community in Engadine, Sydney, Fr Duc Tran to St Joseph’s College in Ferntree Gully, Melbourne while being part of the community at Lysterfield, and Fr Ete Milo will travel to Auckland, New Zealand as an Assistant to the parish in Massey.
At the conclusion of the ordinations, Fr William Matthews thanked the congregation for their prayer and support to the Salesian Family and invited young men and women to journey with the Salesians as consecrated people for the salvation of souls through education.