Christopher del Rosario was ordained a deacon by Most Rev Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv at an overflowing at St Monica’s Church, Richmond on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Saturday night, 26 May 2018.
The Mass was a joyful celebration with clergy concelebrating from the Diocese of Parramatta and beyond, including Most Rev Richard Umbers, Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney. Seminarians from the Diocese of Parramatta’s Holy Spirit Seminary and the Archdiocese of Sydney’s Good Shepherd Seminary were also in attendance.
Early on Saturday morning Chris, as he is known to his family and friends, may have been slightly distracted from his impending ordination to the Diaconate as the basketball fanatic watched his beloved Boston Celtics lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Playoffs. Any disappointment he experienced was short-lived as six years of formation culminated with his ordination later that evening.
Chris in his word of thanks with the words of Luke’s Gospel, “My soul magniﬁes the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my saviour” (Lk 1:46). He expressed gratitude to Bishop Vincent for ordaining him and said that one word encapsulated his ordination as “Joy”.
He also paid tribute Bishop Richard Umbers, “Thank you for supporting me over the years, most especially as a student at Redﬁeld College. I remember the many chats we had and have no doubt that it guided me to where I am today.”
Thanking his parents, Chris was moved to tears, “Ma and Pa, it’s through your loving example that’s formed me into the man I am today. Thank you for all that you do and for teaching me the greatest lesson of all; to love God before all else. I love you both very much.”
Deacon Chris sensed a calling to the priesthood when he attended World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid with the Diocese of Parramatta. He paid special tribute to Fr Warren Edwards, Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Angels Rouse Hill, “I can’t put into words what you’ve done for me since I ﬁrst expressed my desire to join the seminary. I know taking a chance on an 18-year-old kid as a parish representative to World Youth Day is risky, but God works in mysterious ways and now that kid is the ﬁrst and, please God, not the last vocation to Holy Orders from Rouse Hill.”
In his homily, Bishop Vincent said that the week had been tough for the Church in Australia and that had it been a thrust into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Bishop Vincent said that the Church been struck off its “high horse”.
In response, the church needed to, “Repent of our institutional failures and to restore confidence in the church. It is the favourable moment to undertake deep reform that will align its culture and structure to the vision of the Nazarene. It is the opportunity to replace clerical impunity, elitism and self-interest with accountability, humility and equal discipleship.
“Today, we celebrate the core of our Christian faith: the God of love who reveals himself not as one who is siloed, removed and aloof from humanity. Rather, God reveals himself as relational and closely bonded with humanity,” Bishop Vincent said.
Deacon Chris is the third seminarian to be ordained to the Diaconate since December. Seminarian Jack Green will be ordained to the Diaconate on Saturday 2 June on Saturday at Sacred Heart Church, Westmead.
Learn more: Holy Spirit Seminary
VIEW: Images from the ordination below or click here