Archdiocese celebrates the ordination of Fr Anthony

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Home > Media > News > Archdiocese celebrates the ordination of Fr Anthony
Archdiocese celebrates the ordination of Fr Anthony

The sounds of traditional Catholic hymns and African music filled St Mary’s Cathedral in Hobart on Friday night, during Fr Anthony Chidi Onyirioha’s ordination to the priesthood.

Fr Anthony, who described his journey to the priesthood as one with challenges but one which had been guided by the grace of God, said he was very happy to have been ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Hobart.

“It is a wonderful occasion and a milestone… I never imagined I would be here today but by the special Grace of God,” he said.

“God has revealed to me during this opportunity that he has given me, that he can do anything.”

While his mother who is based in Nigeria could not be at the ordination, Fr Anthony was joined for the special occasion by many friends and family members.

“I am very happy to have my family around me on this special day for this celebration, I miss them a lot and having them here gives me a boost,” he said.

Part of the ordination ceremony involved the wrapping of Fr Anthony’s hands in a linen cloth called a maniturgium, used to absorb excess charism oil from the newly ordained priest’s hand.

According to tradition the maniturgium will then be passed on to Fr Anthony’s mother (when he celebrates his first Mass in Nigeria), so she might on her passing present it to the Lord and having given her son to him as a priest, gain immediate entry into heaven.

Fr Anthony also took the time at the conclusion of the ordination to thank many of those who had supported him in the Archdiocese including priests, parishioners and Archbishop Julian who he described as a father figure to him.

In celebrating the ordination, Archbishop Julian spoke of the extraordinary experience of becoming a priest.

“You are being swept up into a mystery and grace that from now on will define every aspect of your life,” he said.
Archbishop Julian encouraged Fr Anthony to always be connected to the people he serves.

“Anthony love the people you are called to serve,” he said.
“Carry their burdens in your heart.  Let their joys be your joys.  Let their sorrows be your sorrows.”

Fr Anthony, who has served the Kingston/Channel Parish as deacon for the past six months, celebrated his first Mass as a priest, the night after his ordination, at Christ the Priest Church at Kingston Beach.