University of Notre Dame Sydney chaplain Br Reginald Chua OP was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB in St Mary’s Cathedral, Perth, on Friday 18 December.
It was a family affair in every sense: not only was Br Reginald supported by his birth family, including his parents, his brother James, and his sister, Ursuline Sister Lynne Chua OMSC, but his sister officially accompanied him during the ceremony while his brother James served as an acolyte.
His religious family, meanwhile, was represented by Dominican Prior Provincial Fr Anthony Walsh OP, and Perth Dominicans Fr Thomas Cassidy OP and Fr Peter Hoang OP.
Other concelebrants included UNDA Fremantle campus chaplain Fr Mariusz Grzech and Perth parish priests Fathers Mark Baumgarten and Pierluigi Vajra CRS.
Starting at 7pm local time and livestreamed, the Cathedral hosted some 200 locals, limited by social distancing, and a handful of interstate visitors.
Perth’s Salesian archbishop welcomed those present, quipping after Mass that he has now ordained more Dominicans than Archbishop Fisher OP of Sydney has ordained Salesians.
Traditional Latin chants from the Cathedral choristers, concluding with the Salve Regina and a traditional hymn to St Dominic accompanied the ordination liturgy.
In the special year called by Pope Francis focusing the Church’s attention on its official patron, St Joseph, Archbishop Timothy spoke of Christ’s adoptive father “as a model for us to follow, and a saint to whom we can entrust ourselves in prayer.”
In a world that needs good fathers, Archbishop Costelloe said, an important dimension of St Joseph’s life was his fatherhood, which provides a model for for priests to be meek and humble fathers to their people.
Meanwhile, he said, being ordained in Advent was also “a call to prepare a way for the Lord, so that when He comes, and in the way that He chooses to come into the lives of his people, they are ready – we are ready – to receive Him.”
Before the final blessing, Fr Reginald thanked all his family, friends and formators who accompanied him to ordination. He also thanked the Latin Mass communities in both Perth and Sydney for their support.
Over 100 people remained after Mass to receive Fr Reginald’s first priestly blessing and to share hospitality in the Cathedral’s parish centre.