• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Thursday, 28 June 2018 17:57

Celebrations and thanksgiving to mark 60 years of priesthood


Fr Frank Gerry jubilee Mass2 450It’s been a season of celebration for the Divine Word Missionaries AUS Province recently, with a number of jubilees, including the significant milestone of 60 years a priest for Fathers Frank Gerry and Ennio Mantovani.

Fr Frank and Fr Ennio marked their Diamond Jubilees with special Masses and social celebrations, giving thanks to God for their priestly vocation.

Fr Frank, a former provincial, who was born and bred in Brisbane, was ordained in the United States and his missionary life included assignments to the Philippines, both living and working with the poor in Manila and then returning to work in formation at the SVD seminary in Tagaytay. He was also Rector at Dorish  Maru College in Melbourne, a facilitator of the Siloam Program at the Heart of  Life centre and the founding director of the Janssen Spiritualty and Interfaith Dialogue Centre in Boronia.

Fr Frank returned home to Queensland for his Jubilee celebration with confreres, family and friends and was also honoured by his confreres in Marsfield, Sydney, where he now lives.

Fr Frank Gerry jubilee Mass 450“I am deeply grateful for your presence here this morning,” he told those gathered at the Brisbane celebration.

“You have been a real support for me throughout the 60 years of my priestly life, and I thank you.

“As well, I see in your presence all the other people who have supported me throughout all the years of my ministry. I wish to honour them as an unseen presence. I cannot forget them.”

Fr Frank showed those gathered a bundle of letters sent to him by his family at the time of his ordination in the United States on June 7, 1958.

He also held up some envelopes containing gifts, peso bills and words of greeting from the families who scavenged on Smokey Mountain, the garbage dump of Tondo Manila, who Fr Frank came to know and love during his time as a missionary there. They presented Fr Frank with these heart-felt gifts when he was returning to Australia to celebrate his Silver Jubilee in May, 1983.

Fr Ennio jubilee Mass 350“I have honoured their thoughtfulness, generosity and hospitality these past 35 years, by keeping the envelopes with their message and precious little gift inside this special container in my room,” he said.

“I think you can sense that I am overwhelmed at what we have come to celebrate.”

Meanwhile, in Melbourne, Fr Ennio was honoured with a series of celebrations for his Diamond Jubilee, both with confreres and with the various communities he has been a part of during his time in the AUS Province.

Born in Italy, Fr Ennio was ordained at the major seminary of St Gabriel near Vienna in Austria on May 15, 1958. He set out as a young missionary priest from Europe in 1962 for his assignment to Papua New Guinea. He lived among the people of the Simbu region in the PNG highlands for 15 years and then worked for 20 years at the Melanesian Institute in Goroka, PNG, researching, lecturing and writing on Melanesian religions and cultures. In 2003 he took up residence in Melbourne and began teaching full time at the Yarra Theological Union. He remains with the SVD community in Melbourne in his retirement and continues to assist at Sacred Heart Parish in Preston.

At a Mass to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of his ordination at Sacred Heart Parish, Fr Ennio said that looking back at his 60 years in the priesthood, what stood out for him most was the role of Divine Providence.

“A secular observer might say that I have been lucky, but my faith tells me that it was the Divine Love at work through his providence. Today, I want to thank the heavenly Father for having guided my life and I intend to share with you what God did to me.”

Fr Ennio jubilee 450What followed was an account of the times in Fr Ennio’s life when his life took turns which seemed to be the work of coincidence, but which he perceived as Divine Providence.

These ‘coincidences’ included a forced change to his doctoral thesis to concentrate on the people of the Simbu, last minute changes to his assignments and plans, and the providential opening up of new missionary assignments and placements.

Once such providential opening concerned an invitation for the SVD to care for the Sacred Heart Parish in Preston, which Fr Ennio was asked to take up.

“I came on a Sunday and sat in the back of the church for the 9 O’clock Mass. It was love at first sight,” he said. 

“The involvement of the lay ministers attracted me.

“I have been serving this parish for the last 11 years and today I use this opportunity to thank you, the parish of Sacred Heart Preston, for providing me with this unique opportunity to serve you.

 “You gave purpose and joy to my life. Thank you all.”

Also this month, Fr Gilbert Carlo SVD celebrated 40 years in vows followed by Fr Dom Flores SVD celebrating 65 years of living as a professed Divine Word Missionary.


Top right: Fr Frank Gerry SVD celebrates the Mass of thanksgiving in Brisbane to mark his Diamond Jubilee

Middle left: Friends and family take part in Fr Frank's Jubilee Mass.

Middle right: Fr Ennio Mantovani SVD delivers his homily at his Jubilee Mass in Melbourne.

Bottom left: Fr Ennio celebrates with confreres.