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Ordination of Fr Ashwin Acharya

21 June, 2021

They came from across the diocese and across the State of Queensland.  They came full of joy and expectation and were not disappointed.  They came for the rich liturgical celebration of the ordination to the priesthood of Ashwin Acharya.  Priests, friends, seminarians and especially people from the various parishes in which Ashwin has served since he began his training over six years ago.

Bishop Michael and the priests of the diocese were delighted that such a man was joining them as a brother priest.  As each took his turn in praying over Ashwin for the gift of the Holy Spirit and later in offering him the sign of peace, we knew they were committing themselves to support him in this strange and wondrous life. Bishop Michael in his homily referred to the song, The Impossible Dream, and this seemed such an apt way to refer to this life of service as a priest. The bishop knew from his own life that this impossible dream can become possible only with the grace of the Spirit and he encouraged Ashwin with this knowledge.

Our gratitude goes to the Acharya family for the generous support they have given to Ashwin in his vocation.  Angela and Raj, his parents, were full of joy to see him so dedicated to this new life.  Angela made the set of vestments which were used in the ceremony.  Ashwin’s brother and his wife gave him an exquisite chalice and paten set.  We could see the real bond that Ashwin has with his two nieces.

The people of the Capricorn Coast parish, where Ashwin grew up, were there in their numbers so happy that ‘their boy’ had come to this day.  They knew him to be joyful, creative, personable, caring, and intelligent.   Did I say musical?  We were amazed when he took up playing the piano at Mass, especially as he couldn’t read music.  Someone had to sing him the tune, and what he made of that has so often delighted us.

The music accompanying the service was amazing.  Our deepest thanks and congratulations to the Cathedral Choir and others who played and sang so beautifully. There was something in there for everyone’s taste.  Latin chant, traditional hymns through to a very modern, very lively hymn sung as the Communion Reflection.  The choir bopped along to that, while a student from TCC gave the beat on his drum.

Organising such an event is always challenging but in this time of Covid….well.  The staff of the Bishop’s House, along with the Cathedral Parish are to be commended for such a smoothly and well-run event – not only in the Cathedral but also in the refreshments afterwards at The Cathedral College.  Everything flowed so well that one hardly knew there was any organization behind it.  That is real success.  The staff and students of The Cathedral College are also to be thanked for the many diverse ways they helped on the day.

Our thanks and blessings go to Fr Ashwin Acharya for offering himself to become a priest of our diocese.  We wish you every grace and promise you that we will support you in our prayer and with our love.