Newly-ordained deacon Ravi Muvvala will be forever grateful for the “amazing” support of his Australian family in regional NSW which has helped him to respond to God’s call to the priesthood.
His bishop, Wilcannia-Forbes Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green OSPPE, is an “extraordinary person and without his support and the amazing support of the people of God it would have been very difficult for me to answer the call of God”, he says.
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Bishop Macbeth-Green told the 200 people gathered at Holy Family Church in Parkes for Deacon Ravi’s 19 March ordination to the deaconate that he will be “going into a world that’s hostile to our Holy Mother, the Church. Yet in the midst of hostility we remain faithful to Jesus Christ who also was subject to hostility,” he said.
Deacon Ravi said that the journey towards priesthood has been a long process of discernment and many challenges—but that he has felt the “pure gift of God’s grace” and received “loving support” from parishioners of St Laurence O’Toole, Forbes, where he has been serving his pastoral placement.
Originally from Andhra Pradesh in southern India, he will serve as deacon at the Sacred Heart Parish in Broken Hill from the end of March until his ordination to the priesthood.
“I believe I’m in the right place and would love to share the goodness of our faith with people through Holy Orders,” says Deacon Ravi.
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Bishop Macbeth-Green told The Catholic Weekly that anyone offering themselves to ministry requires “a lot more bravery and faith probably than probably ever given the climate of the Church today”.
“It’s a real statement of faith for a young man to offer himself to the priesthood as it’s not a popular profession around now in a lot of people’s eyes,” he said.
“And of course it’s great for the diocese. We had Father Vincent Kamba ordained last year and Hugo Chis coming through and that’s really good for a little bush diocese. We’re in the business of hope, and any new vocation is a great sign of hope.”
Deacon Ravi said that he is looking forward to being a priest but that he is much more concerned about how faithfully he will live his commitment to God each day.