Joseph Neonbasu has become the first Missionaries of God’s Love brother from overseas to be ordained a priest. Fr Neobasu, from West Timor in Indonesia, was ordained by Archbishop Mark Coleridge.
He had been in formation with the Missionaries of God’s Love for seven years. When he arrived in Australia he had little English, but with great faith he overcame the obstacles of language and cultural transition.
His ordination is a sign of the changing face of the MGL, which has now welcomed many candidates from other cultures into the formation program. As well as Australians and New Zealanders the MGL now have brothers in their formation program from the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Papua New Guinea and Africa People travelled to the ordination from Melbourne, where Fr Neonbasu did most of his training, and from Sydney, where he has Indonesian friends. The local Indonesian community turned out in force, together with parishioners of St Benedicts Narrabundah, where he worked as a deacon.The most touching moment of the ordination ceremony came when Joseph’s mother and father and his two brothers, both of whom are SVD priests, helped him to vest in his priestly chasuble.