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Tuesday, 29 June 2021 13:06

SVD priests officially installed in North Queensland parish


Joseph and Clement installation 2021 550Two Divine Word Missionary priests were installed as Parish Priest and Associate Pastor in a Townsville pastoral community last month in ceremony conducted by Bishop Timothy Harris who invoked the example of the Holy Trinity as a model for community and parish life.

Fr Joseph Reddy SVD and Fr Clement Baffoe SVD were installed as pastors of the Ministerial Region of the Good Shepherd in the coastal North Queensland city.

During the installation ceremony, Bishop Tim officially presented Fathers Joseph and Clement to the Parish. Symbolically, the Bishop took them to the ambo, the altar, the confessional, the baptismal font and the main entrance of the Church and explained to the two priests what their duties and responsibilities to the Church community would be. The Parish community, in turn, welcomed the new pastors and the Parish Pastoral Council and promised to work with them in bringing forth the Kingdom of God.

“In his homily, Bishop Tim exhorted the community to always see the Most Holy Trinity as a model of community living and said the Parish community must take inspiration from the Triune God who is a perfect community of love and relationship,” Fr Clement says.

“He encouraged Fr Joseph and myself to be humble and to be men of prayer in order to be able to nurture the spiritual life of the Parish.”

The Bishop also thanked the Divine Word Missionaries for sending these young, energetic priests to the Diocese.

SVD Vice-Provincial, Fr Nick de Groot SVD, thanked the Bishop, the Diocese and the Parish for the warm reception they have given to the Divine Word Missionaries in the Diocese. Fr Manh Le SVD, who is currently ministering on nearby Palm Island, was also present.

“Fr Nick talked about the history of the SVDs in the Australia Province and the second coming of the SVDs to the Townsville Diocese,” Fr Clement says.

“He encouraged us to collaborate with the people and said he was hopeful that this would help us build a great Parish community.”

Joseph and Clement installation group 550Fr Joseph thanked the Bishop, the Diocese, the Parish and the SVD for the honour done to him and Fr Clement.

“And we both promised to work with the grace of God to bring about God’s love and mercy in the Church,” Fr Joseph says.

Fr Joseph says that as a first time Parish Priest, he is well aware of the enormity of the work ahead of him.

“But I’m hopeful that by prayer, hard work and collaboration, the work is surmountable,” he says.

As a newly ordained priest, Fr Clement says he felt excited to be installed as an Associate Pastor of his first Parish and he feels at home already in the Ministerial Region of the Good Shepherd Parish, since the people of North Queensland are so down-to-earth.

“As a young and a new priest, the Community here is giving me a lot of pastoral experiences and generally the people have been extremely welcoming and supportive to me,” he says.

Fr Clement says although the parish has been established for almost three decades, the installation ceremony had prompted some surprise from parishioners as there had never before been a formal installation ceremony for priests.

“However, at the end of the ceremony, most of the people who hadn’t seen anything like that before came to appreciate it and the feedback has been amazing,” he says.


TOP RIGHT: Fr Joseph Reddy SVD and Fr Clement Baffoe SVD at their installation ceremony in Townsville.

BOTTOM LEFT: Fr Clement Baffoe SVD, Fr Manh Le SVD, Bishop Timothy Harris, Fr Nick de Groot SVD and Fr Joseph Reddy SVD.