Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has called on the faithful to pray for Aruna Perera and Eddie Yun-Fat Ho as they prepare to be ordained to the permanent diaconate.
The pair will be ordained permanent deacons at St Mary’s Cathedral on 10 October.
Aruna was born to Catholic parents in Sri Lanka.
“From childhood Catholic life was part and parcel of our family especially as two of my mother’s brothers are priests and her late sister a Poor Clares nun,” he said.
“My school Rector Fr Claver Perera played an important role during my high school years, influencing my thinking and values.”
Aruna was involved in Shakespeare drama and debating and was a tenor in the school choir, played cricket and held a brown belt in karate.
“At the age of 19 I joined a tea broking company and was a tea taster and auctioneer, continuing in this profession for 30 years until I left for Australia in February 2009.
“As work involved management and finance I completed the professional qualification CIMA (UK), the equivalent of CPA (Australia).”
Aruna and his wife Kayshinee have five children.
“My spiritual life has been has been nourished by the Apostolate of Renewal, founded by my priest uncle Fr Oscar Abayaratne in which I was actively involved since 1977.
“I have grown closer to the Lord through this movement which nurtures spirituality through daily personal prayer, lay community way of life, Catholic liturgical life, retreats and social action.
“Since arrival in Australia, our family has lived in Denistone and we belong to St Therese parish.
“The theological and pastoral formation of the diaconate program has helped to mature and deepen understanding of my faith.
“My pastoral formation placements have been with my home parish and the parish of St Charles Borromeo/Our Lady Queen of Peace parish of Ryde-Gladesville.
“I look forward to serve as a permanent deacon of the archdiocese of Sydney.
Eddie Ho grew up in Macau, where he was educated by the Salesian Fathers. He attended university in the United States, and later migrated to Australia.
“After arriving in Sydney, I attended Mass at Asiana Centre, Ashfield,” he said.
“I joined the Asiana Centre Choir in late 1982. I also joined the adult catechist team of the Chinese Catholic Pastoral Centre in 1994.”
Eddie and his wife Anne were married in 1995.
“In early 1996, my wife started to study theology part-time at the Catholic Theological Union in Hunters Hill. She encouraged me to study theology because she reckoned that we needed to understand our faith better before we could instruct the catechumens.
“I enrolled into CTU in the second semester of 1996. After the closure of CTU at the end of 1998, both of us enrolled into the Catholic Institute of Sydney in 1999.”
Both Eddie and Anne graduated with a Master of Arts in Theological Studies in 2000. Eddie later attained a Master of Theology.
“I was accepted into the permanent diaconate program in 2011. I kept on studying theology at CIS until the end of 2015.”
Aruna and Eddie will be ordained to the permanent diaconate at St Mary’s Cathedral from 7pm on Monday, 10 October.