There was standing room only in our Church of St. John the Baptist in Perth on Sunday, 3rd April 2016. Many came to witness the priestly ordination of Deacon Richard Charlwood. Parishioners, about 20 religious sisters and monks, four local seminarians, family and friends of Father Richard came together to celebrate this important event in his life and the life of our church. Bishop Peter was joined by Monsignor Harry Entwistle, Fr. David Barry (Monk of New Norcia), Fr. Jean-Noel (Vice rector of St. Charles Seminary), Fr. Steve Truscott (Marist Father), Fr. John Jegorow, and Fr. Kevin Cummins (Melkite priest). There were a number of our own priests concelebrating as well. Fr. Wolodymyr, who was made Archpriest during the Liturgy, Fr. Stefan Sapun from Brisbane and Perth’s new priest, Fr. Ihor Holowko, Fr. Brian Kelty, and Fr. Michael Kalka. Two of our deacons, Fr. Deacon Justin McDonnell and Fr. Deacon Michael Zylan, also served at the Liturgy. Fr. Simon Ckuj from Sydney was the Master of Ceremonies. Fr. Deacon Walter represented the Ukrainian Orthodox church.

Richard was born in Parramatta, NSW. He grew up in the Parish of St. Anthony’s, Toongabbie. He was a member of a religious community for 16 years where he held a number of positions, including co-ordinator of a retreat centre and superior. He moved to Bunbury (WA) in 1991. After moving to Perth in 1993, he taught RE and Indonesian at Servite College for 8 years. Since 2002, he has taught Indonesian with the Schools of Isolated and Distance Education in Leederville. He has completed extensive studies in theology and has been highly successful in specifically Eastern Christian studies at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary (Pittsburgh). Richard has been writing icons for over 30 years. Many of the finest examples of his work currently adorn the Parish Church at Maylands. He has been very involved in the life of the parish, helping run a regular Bible Study and other Vision 2020 related events.

The celebration began with a lengthy procession to the church. Bishop Peter was greeted by 5 teenagers who spoke beautiful Ukrainian. Two of the group, racing car drivers (V8 supercars) asked for a blessing on their racing career.

The procession then proceeded into the church where Bishop Peter blessed and opened the Holy Door for the Year of Mercy. Just before the ordination of Fr. Richard, Fr. Wolodymyr Kalinecki was elevated to rank of an Archpriest.

The Liturgy marked the conclusion of Fr. Wolodymyr’s 19 year service in the parish and the beginning of Fr. Ihor Holowko’s’ service in the parish.

A reception was held in the parish hall after the ordination Liturgy.

May God grant Fr. Richard many years of service in the church.

This post is also available in: Ukrainian