With the words “Divine Grace, which always cures the infirm and supplies what is wanting, elevates the devout Deacon William to the presbyterate”, Bishop Peter Stasiuk ordained the latest priest in the Eparchy on Sunday, 21st February 2016, at the parish church of The Protection of the Mother of God in Brisbane in a very moving ceremony.
Fr. William was a much loved Deacon in the parish which he has served for over 25 years. Recently he has been diagnosed with cancer which has spread, but now seems to be in remission. Fr. William is one of the Eparchies leading iconographers. He teaches the art and theology of icon painting on a regular basis. He is also known for his talent of sewing church vestments. He loves the church and spends many hours each week preparing for the Divine Liturgy in prayer. Fr. William is an Oblate of Tyburn, O.S.B. of Riverstone. The ordination was attended by his only remaining sibling, Jennifer Lawrence, and cousins and a church full of parishioners.
Besides Bishop Peter, other priests, and deacons came to Brisbane for the ordination. Fr. Simon Ckuj, the Dean of the area, came from Sydney, Deacon Justin McDonnell and his wife travelled from Melbourne. Fr. Stefan Sapun, the local parish priest was the archdeacon for the ceremony. Fr. Martin Arnold assisted as well.
The parishioners sang “Axios” with joy as the Bishop presented the newly ordained priest with his priestly vestments.
After the Liturgy, everyone was invited to come to the parish hall for a special lunch.
Fr. William said “This was a great, grace filled day which I pray will be a blessing for all the faithful of the parish. Ordination to the priesthood is a most wonderful gift from God and I am most grateful to Bishop Peter for bestowing this gift on me.”
There are four Ukrainian Catholic priests in Brisbane today: Fr. Stefan Sapun, Fr. Martin Arnold, Fr. William Lawrence, and Fr. Danilo Novak.