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The Missionaries of God’s Love (MGL) continued their unmatched growth among religious communities in Australia on Friday night, with the ordination of seven men in Melbourne: two to the priesthood, and five to the diaconate.
Archbishop Denis Hart, Archbishop of Melbourne, was the principal celebrant in a vibrant ceremony which saw the men’s families and their lay confreres in the Disciples of Jesus Covenant Community turn out in force to celebrate the happy occasion.
The new priests are Lenin Thenamirtham MGL, originally from India, and Isuru Weliwatte MGL, originally from Sri Lanka.
The new deacons are Adam Crouch MGL (South Australia), Rembert Fernando MGL (India), David Lemewu MGL (Indonesia), Antony Santhiyagu MGL (India) and Daniel Serratore MGL (Sydney).
The MGL’s Fr Dave Callaghan said its community encouraged a mix of “prayer and experimentation, new ways of doing mission and reaching out”.
“With Australian vocations, we struggle as much as anyone else, but the key thing about our mission is trying to work out the New Evangelisation, to get back to the basic gospel message,” he said.
“How do we proclaim that in a culture that is changing very rapidly? [It’s a challenge] that attracts a lot of men because they see it as an important; a mission to proclaim the gospel.”
MGL founder Fr Ken Barker has conducted several mission trips around south-east Asia in recent years, particularly to Sri Lanka and India, where the MGL eventually hope to establish a mission.
Fr Dave said: “We really encourage the guys to pray and experiment and to try new ways of doing mission and reaching out.
“We also have a strong connection with lay movements – the Disciples of Jesus (a lay community with groups throughout Australia and in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea) and the Young Men of God Movement, which Fr Ken started.”
The Disciples of Jesus Summer School, a week-long experience of prayer and learning for 16-35-year-olds, will take place from 10-17 January in Bathurst, Paterson (north of Maitland), Melbourne and Perth.